Anambra to attain self-sufficiency in fish production if… – MD FABDA
By Gabriel Chy Alonta
Emeka Iloghalu, the managing director, Fisheries and Aquaculture Business Development Agency (FABDA), Anambra state, has said that the state would attain self-sufficiency in fisheries and aquaculture businesses with the right tools and robust management information system.
Iloghalu, who disclosed this to newsmen in Awka, the Anambra state capital on Wednesday, said the Agency lacks enough personnel and right funding to reposition fish farming in the state. He, however, added that despite the challenges faced by the agency, the Agency was not relenting in the drive to achieve self-sufficiency in fish farming.
According to him, the objective of the agency remains to reposition the fish economy through the effective and efficient management of fisheries and aquaculture for increased productivity, growth and sustainability in the value chain.
The managing director, therefore, called on the state government led by His Excellency, Prof. Charles Soludo to support the Agency’s quest to achieve self-sufficiency in fish farming through provision of funds and deployment of the right personnel to the agency.
While recounting the achievements of the agency, Iloghalu disclosed that the United Nations recently urged state governments across the country to consider adopting the Anambra State fisheries and aquaculture business model for effective and efficient development. He said the UN gave the advice through its Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO-UN) delegation to Nigeria during its visit to the state.
He said the delegates also assured that the state would benefit from the €48million mapped out for the 12 participating countries in the Fish for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (FISH4ACP) programme, remarking that “the delegates were highly impressed with the commitment of the state government to the development of fisheries and aquaculture sector in the state by creating FABDA. “The team has also indicated interest to pay a visit to the governor to consolidate the FISH4ACP programme implementation”, he enthused.
Iloghalu further revealed that the Agency has trained 60 youths in the state in Table Fish Production Business tagged, “Creating Fish Millionaires Through The CBN AADS Project”, with a N1.2million empowerment package to grow their businesses. He explained that the exercise was strategic advancement of the Fish Production Village Business Franchise project in line with the manifesto of the state Governor, Prof. Soludo.
“In line with the manifesto of this administration, FABDA has facilitated the formation of the Table Fish Production Coorperative Society Limited for the already trained 60 youths and they are currently being monitored to become fish millionaires.
“FABDA is poised to contribute up to at least 100 youth Fish Millionaires per annum with the right support and equipment. “We’re looking forward to a visit by Norwegian Ambassador to Anambra State, as well as Country Representative and Delegation of the Food and Agriculture organization of United Nations (FAO-UN) for bilateral discussions with Mr. Governor”, he hinted.
Earlier, one of the 60 trainees and President, Table Fish Production Cooperative Society, Awka, Christian Madichie, said the training had assisted them in navigating the risks associated with the business.
“Already, I’m a millionaire, having been empowered by the government. But I don’t just want to be a millionaire alone, I want to extend my expertise to my friends and loved ones”, he added, while thanking the state government for providing them with an enabling environment to operate.