NCAM boss urges halt to fish importation
Nigeria as a nation blessed with many rivers and oceans should promptly stop further importation of fish to boost its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to Dr Yomi Kasali, the Executive Director of the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation (NCAM), Ilorin, the nation had over the years neglected its potentialities in the area of providing locally the needed fish for domestic consumption. He spoke at one of the training sessions for about 100 youths and women on integrated farming enterprise.
Trainees were drawn across the country and jointly bankrolled by the Federal Government and House of Representative Committee on Agriculture.
According to Kasali, “Nigeria is a blessed country but not many people realise this. If you look at all the major rivers within or even the oceans by the nation’s boundaries, they are all exclusive economic zones for fishing in particular. “We can diversify from poultry to fishery and turn Nigeria into a fish hub and thus stop importation of fish into the country. The fish in question are in various varieties. NCAM has the potential to preserve them and package same for exportation.”
Giving an insight into the training modules, he added, “You are here for training on integrated farming enterprise. This integrated farming is a concept of working a multi enterprise together as an integrated one. Here poultry, fishery, farm gardening and dairy are nurtured together to form an integrated unit.
“The concept is to achieve a zero wastage in your production. This is achieved through the use of an output of one unit as an input to another unit. This disallows wastage as all the outputs are utilised from one unit to the other. This concept increases productivity and profit, and thus, ensures a good return on investment.”
The NCAM boss, while speaking on some of the mandates of the institute, said it had produced diverse and arrays of equipment that had impacted greatly on agriculture and improve the productivity of farmers. These include a multipurpose crop thresher; cassava processing equipment; rice processing equipment; grains and tuber dryer, as well mini tractors.