By James Ogunnaike, Abeokuta
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Catfish farmers in the country on Saturday met to brainstorm and strategize for better productivity in the industry.
The farmers, under the aegis of the Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN) met with the former President, who is a founding member of the body at the boardroom of Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Abeokuta.
Obasanjo who expressed satisfaction in returning to the association, after what he described as an interregnum, assured that the industry would be at enviable heights in no distance future if they all worked together as a body.
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Obasanjo said, “I started poultry farmers association and as a result of its achievements, that was why I began the catfish association too. What put me off, was that I was arrested, detained and I was imprisoned.
“When I came back, I had thought I could return to my farming business before I was taking to the golden cage in Abuja. I will say, it has been an interregnum. But, I am back home now.”
The CAFAN grand patron lamented that the farmers had been overwhelmed by the intermediaries in the industry, emphasising that there was a need to change the situation in order to make headway in the industry.
“The situation in catfish farming is caused by the farmers because the farmers have allowed these intermediaries, who do nothing to be dictating for them. You are the ones working and they are the ones making the profit. It shows that the farmers are not liberating themselves”.
“And if you want to liberate yourself, within a year, we can do it. And that is what we have to do. We have to re-strategize,” Obasanjo said.
He commended the leadership of the association for it steadfastness under the new Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria, as he formally enjoined the leadership of the association to join him at the December 29 showcasing of his aquaculture venture to the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital.
The National President of CAFAN, Sunday Musa Onoja said the exemplary traits of the former President in farming could not be overemphasized in and outside the country, adding that the association would no doubt tap from his experience to take catfish farming to the next level.
The association Identification Card (ID) was presented to Obasanjo by the Board of Trustees (BoT) Chairman, Chief Tayo Akingbolagun, while the Vice President (Southwest) Prince Olorunfemi Sunday, the Ogun state Coordinator, Dr Jaji Kehinde and other members from Ogun, Ekiti, Oyo, Lagos joined in admiration.