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Lagos moves to upturn over 50 percent fish production deficit 

By Gbenga Salau
06 December 2020   |   3:27 am
To bridge the over 50 per cent fish production deficit in Lagos State, the state government has pledged support for stakeholders to increase their production capacity.

To bridge the over 50 per cent fish production deficit in Lagos State, the state government has pledged support for stakeholders to increase their production capacity.
   
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, at a briefing on the 2020 Lagos Seafood Festival slated for December 13, 2020, said the state is producing over 174,000 metric tons of fish with demand of over 400,000 metric tons meaning there is a deficit. 
   
“There is a huge deficit of 226,000 metric tons every year. By 2021, we should increase the fish production by 50,000/ 60,000 metric tons,” she said.
Olusanya added that artisanal fishery contributes over 70 per cent of the 174,000 metric tons, which means there is need to focus more on them to increase their production capacity.

 
She said: “We also need to focus more on aqua culture to encourage youths to go into fisheries. Processors must also be encouraged to close the gap between production, processing and marketing.”
 
The commissioner said the 2020 Lagos Seafood Festival slated for the Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island, themed “Harnessing Lagos Seafood Potentials in a Post-COVID-19 economy”, is target at creating 1,500 induced businesses link to be established after the festival to supply fresh and processed seafood.
   
Olusanya noted that the estimated potentials of the sector is over N680 billion, which includes aquaculture, artisanal fishery and processing.

She further said thirty fishermen groups/ processors and ten vendors would be participating at this festival in compliance with the social distancing protocol established by the state government to safeguard against the spread of COVID-19.

 “Cultural diversities of the various ethnic groups in the state will also be projected, especially as it relates to cooking and eating of seafood. In this wise, Lagosians, Ijaws, Urhobos, Efiks and Ibibios would be given opportunities to showcase their traditional culinary skills in seafood,” the commissioner. She added that the state has a total of 8,844 registered fishermen in 164 fishermen-cooperatives societies who live in 325 fishing communities.