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Gov. Ambode’s administration prioritises food security




Mr Olajide Basorun, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, on Sunday said that food security remained one of the cardinal programmes of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration.

A statement by Mr Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, Assistant Director, Press and Public Relations of the ministry, said in Lagos that the government had put in place strategies that would engender sustainable food production.

“One of the major principles of attaining food security is to look at those areas where one has comparative advantage and focus on them to ensure that the citizens were well fed.

“One of those areas is aqua-culture because more than 22 per cent of the entire land mass of Lagos is covered by water and we have 180km coastline,’’ it said.

The statement said the government would continue to support fish farming and production in its bid to address the decline in the supply of captured fish.

“Government will continue to create enabling and conducive environment, facilitate capacity building and create ground for easy access to credit facility for fish farmers.

“This will reduce the cost of production and enhance profitability,’’ it said.

The statement explained that the reduction in fish supply was due to a number of factors, including pollution, high cost of fishing input and the use of obnoxious fishing methods.

It noted that the residents had always been fishermen but over the years, their catches had been dwindling.

“This prompted the government to introduce fish farming about 20 years ago in order to address the dwindling supply of fish in the state.’’

The statement said that training on farming was conceived 11 years ago to expose participants to new investment opportunities and build capacities of practising fish farmers for enhanced productivity.

It said that Mrs Adedoyin Olusoga, a former Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Civil Service, noted that the downward trend in the fish supply had necessitated the massive importation of fish.

“This is a big drain on the scarce foreign exchange, hence aqua-culture or fish farming, has been identified as the next viable option for increasing domestic fish production,’’ she said.

It quoted Olusoga as saying that the state required about 330,000 metric tonnes of fish annually to satisfy the fish dietary needs of the populace.

“The total aggregate of domestic fish supply from all sources is about 176,850 tonnes per annum,’’ the statement said.

It advised government to continue to create an enabling environment for private sector to invest in fish feeds production.

“This will ultimately lower the cost of fish production as feed constitutes 70 per cent of the recurrent cost in fish farming.

“The establishment of a fish market for cultured fishes will create appropriate pricing mechanism and bring more profit to the producers,’’ the statement said.

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