The Federal Government has reiterated her commitment to up scaling fish production for self sufficiency and food security.
This according to the Minister of state for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri will close the deficit of the demand of fish both in Nigeria and to also meet the needs of some west African states who depend on Nigeria for fish product and some other grains.
Lokpobiri while launching the first Premium Aquaculture harvesting of Tilapia fish in Nigeria at the Oyan Dam on the Ogun Osun River Basin site in Abeokuta, affirmed governments determination to drive the Nation’s economy with the Agriculture sector especially in Aquaculture.
Lokpobiri Said that agriculture is the biggest business in the world and therefore called on all Nigerians to embrace farming especially as civil servant since the civil service rules allows them to engage only in farming activities.
The Minister also confirmed the increase in production from the 800 metric tons in 2015 to the current supply of 1.1 million metric tons thereby up scaling production to meet the deficit of 2.1 million metric tons gap. This increase was archived with the FG policy of backward integration of breeding fish locally thereby reducing importation to cut the pressure on the Forex.
He encouraged others to invest in fish production and that the FG is ready to support such investors in any physical way to expand and succeed like Premium Aquaculture Limited.
Earlier Lokokpibri paid a courtesy visit to former President Olusegun Obasanjo who was also a guest at the first harvest ceremony. In his remarks, the former President commended the worthy contribution of Premium Aquaculture and said their commitment to fish production will be a catalyst for out growers, more so it will be a source of wealth creation and employment generation for our youths both in Ogun state and throughout the nation, the former president also said this will greatly achieve their zero hunger target by the year 2025 in Nigeria at the first instance and Africa subsequently.
Also the Ogun state Governor Senator Ibukunle Amosun represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture promised to give all the necessary support to boost tilapia production in premium Aquaculture Limited.
The managing Director of Premium Aquaculture Limited, Mr, Prakash Aildasani appreciated the peaceful investment environment in Ogun state, He said from this harvest launching which began in 2014 they intend to achieve the supply of between 10-12 million fingerling to out growers, also they have been engaged in training programmes among interested aquaculture farmers, there by ensuring capacity development to up scale production.