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Edo Govt. rallies investors on aquaculture subsector

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By Nosa Akenzua, Benin

The Edo State Government on Wednesday said it is making efforts to create conducive environment to attract investors that will expand the 350,000 metric tons of aquaculture subsector per annum to diversify the state’s economy. 

Speaking to journalists in Benin City, Edo state capital, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Peter Aikhuomobhogbe Uidia, said that the state was making frantic efforts to ensure that investors are comfortable with their investments that would expand the aquaculture subsector in the state. 

According to Mr. Uidia, “Aquaculture in Edo State is an emerging Industry that is currently dominated by African catfish (Clarius garlepinus) and very limited number of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) production enterprises. 

“The industry is dominated by small scale farmers producing fish for household consumption and for the domestic market. The state has substantial aquaculture potential where commercial activities in the industry can contribute to poverty reduction and enhance food security.” 

He added that “Edo State has a swampland area of not less than 80,000 hectares and water that supports fish farming in over 60 percent of the state. The current production level in the aquaculture subsector is estimated at not less than 35,000mt per annum. 

In the artisanal fisheries subsector, the state has not less than 6,000 fishing families. However, catch per unit effort is very low arising from production and Infrastructural constraints”. 

The Permanent Secretary noted that Edo State is bestowed with significant fisheries resources base as most of the state’s Water bodies have substantial fisheries resources and offers opportunities for aquaculture development both in marine and freshwaters.

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