By Elizabeth Uwandu
The need to empower women and youths to be self-reliant informed the five- day training on Value chain capacity-building on aquaculture production and post-harvest technology organised by the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, NIOMR, and facilitated by Chairman and members, House of Representatives Committee on Agricultural Colleges and Institutions.
At the end of the training, the 56 unemployed women and youths would each be given a starter pack comprising one fish plastic tank that will contain 100 catfish juveniles; 15 bags of fish-feed; scale, logbook; basin, hand-net and plastic spoons.
Speaking at the opening, Dr Patricia Anyanwu, director, Aquaculture, NIOMR, said that the capacity-building and empowerment programme was geared towards making participants come out with harvest within the next four months.
According to her: “The essence is that aquaculture as a business, will empower unemployed youths, graduates and women to become self-employed in the aquaculture sector. While the value chain capacity-building will empower them either as fingerling producers or fish-feed producers, or as fish processors.
“This seminar is coming at the right time as one of the Federal Government’s capital project allocation programme for the first quarter of 2018. This workshop will also serve as a means of generating employment because aquaculture business demands hands. So, if you are trained, you will definitely train others.
For Dr Adekunle Oresegun, one of the facilitators, the programme was relevant to boost food consumption and livelihood as a means of revenue generation. “Currently, Nigeria eats less fish compared to most countries in West Africa. So, the only way we can meet the WHO standard is to increase our fish production by encouraging more people to go into fish rearing. The programme is to train and increase people’s skills in the art and science of fish rearing,” Oresegun said.
Some of participants drawn from selected federal constituencies across Nigeria such as Mr Ndubuisi Akpa, Enugu State; Hon. Busari Nosiru, supervisor for health, Ojoroko LCDA, Ifako/ Ijaiye Federal Constituency of Lagos State and Mrs Kemi Fadairo, Lagos, expressed joy over the training as it will afford them the opportunity to be gainfully employed and also be employers of labour.