By Elizabeth Uwandu
The need to empower women and youths to be self reliance informed the five day training on “Value chain capacity building training on aquaculture production and post-harvest technology for organised by Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, NIOMR and facilitated by Chairman and members, House of Representative Committee for Agricultural Colleges and Institutions.
At the end of training , the 56 unemployed women and youths would be given a starter’s park that comprised; one fish plastic tank that will contain 100 catfish juveniles; 15 bags of fish-feeds ; scale, logbook; basin and 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 their harvest within the next four months.
According to her, “ The essence is that aquaculture as a business that will empowered unemployed youths, graduates and women become self employed in the aquaculture sector. While the value chain capacity building will empower them either as fingerling producers or fish-feeds producers, or as fish processors.
“ This seminar is coming at the right time as one of the Federal government 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 the food consumption and livelihood rearing 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 with the World Health Organisation, WHO standard is to increase our fish production by encouraging more people into fish rearing. The programme is to train and increase people’s skill in the art and science of fish rearing.” Dr Oresegun said.
Some of participants draw from selected federal constituencies across Nigeria such as Mr Ndubuisi Akpa, Enugu state; Hono. Busari Nosiru, supervisor for health, Ojoroko LCDA, Ifako/ Ijaiye federal constituency, Lagos and Mrs Kemi Fadairo, Lagos expressed joy over the training as it will afford them to the opportunity to be gainfully employed and also be employers of labour.