In bid to boost fish farming in Nigeria, the Farmers Development Union and a Dutch Agricultural Development Company, Oxfam Novib with support of the Federal Government have partnered to create employment opportunities, provide training for farmers and empower people Nigerians.
This programme, held with the support of a Dutch firm, is aimed at developing commercial fish farming in Nigeria.
“We are not just focusing on farmers with multiple fish ponds but also those with one or two ponds. Because they do not have any other means of livelihood, we want to see how we can help them grow and maximise profit.”
“There are so many technologies available but because they are poor, they cannot take advantage of them.
“Floating feed is costly for them so they resort to cheaper rotten feed sources which pollute the pond and affect the quality of their production. To address this situation, this stakeholders’ meeting, which has in attendance all the actors in fish production from the farmers, breeders, feed producers, marketers to government agencies, became important.”
Commenting on the Partnership, Evelyn Mere, Oxfam’s representative in Nigeria stated that this collaboration will empower Nigerians who are willing to contribute to the economic growth.
“We create the market and training for stakeholders to succeed. We also bring in the private sector that controls the market. For the government to stop food importation, you need to empower the people who are always willing to contribute to economic growth,” she said.
Taofeeq Lawal, Director of Fisheries, Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture also commented on the collaboration by telling farmers that they could access loan facilities from the state and the federal government if they approached relevant agencies as a group and not individuals.
“Oyo State Government is ready to help farmers through Agriculture Credit Cooperative but farmers need to organise themselves. The government is also helping with commercial agricultural loans, given to farmers who form cooperative society. As registered farmers, there are supports from the FG through the state Ministry of Agriculture to create employment,” he said.