DELTA State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Julius Egbedi has assured that there will be an increase in fish production to meet with the demands of the people.
The commissioner gave the assurance while addressing participants at training workshops organised by his Ministry for fish farmers.
He stated that the training programmes were designed to equip the farmers on the most current aquacultural and agro-business techniques in fish production.
The training programmes were flagged -off at the Delta Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (DARDA), Ibusa and Effurun in Oshimili North and Uvwie Local Government Areas of the state.
“The annual fish demand of Delta State is approximately 87,000 metric tons, but with both artisanal and agriculture … approximately 58,000 metric tons with a short fall of 29,000 metric tons.
“There is therefore the need to bridge the gap,” he said.
The Agriculture Commissioner explained that fish farmers would be informed and equipped with latest techniques in aquaculture to enhance their productivity and revenue generation.
He also said that the training was part of efforts to boost food production in the state, and to train fish farmers on self-sustaining skills.
Hon. Egbedi disclosed that the training which was part of the state government’s effort in ensuring food sufficiency and productivity, was for registered fish farmers in the state, adding that to ensure equity, the participants were selected from the 25 Local Government Areas.
The commissioner who appreciated Governor Okowa for giving priority to agricultural development through his YAGEP and other agricultural schemes, urged the participants to take the program serious and make effective use of the skills acquired.
The Director of Fishery in the Ministry, Mrs Uju Osadebe stressed that fish farmers would work together in clusters and as a team so as to benefit from the programmes and policies of the state government.
Mrs Osadebe disclosed that the state government intended to develop farmers skills through a mentor and mentee programme, where it could provide starter packs for 90 out of the 150 participants in this phase.
Some of the participants who spoke commended Governor Okowa and Hon. Egbedi for the training programme.
They promised to make good use of the skill acquired.
By Grace Eshedagho