Ogun State government has entered into partnership with a private Aquaculture, owner of the largest Tilapia Fish farm in Nigeria in order to enhance food security and promote fishery’s value chain and employment generation in the State.
Leading a team from the Ministry of Agriculture to the aquaculture farm at Oyan Dam, under the Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority, Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina said the partnership was necessitated by the State’s Covid-19 response plan to support food production and processing locations across the State.
Odedina described the aquaculture firms visited as potential areas for food value chain opportunity that would train young people, assuring that government would provide necessary support for the identified firms to boost its food security agenda and meet the envisaged food crisis after Covid-19.
“Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the envisaged food crisis, Ogun State have an approved Agricultural Covid-19 Response Plan and prime among them is to visit all food production and processing locations, so that the State will continue to provide support and our revised agenda on Covid-19 will run smoothly. Food security will go on, as well as our agenda for the youth”, Odedina said.
He expressed the state’s government readiness to support small holder farmers, to prevent them from folding up, as well as teaching them on best aquaculture practices, in order to realise the food security agenda, maintaining that the food security programme would continue, irrespective of the current global challenge.
Odedina stated further that, since the beginning of lockdown, government has been visiting some food processing companies, in order to see areas of partnership towards ensuring adequate food sufficiency for youths, maintaining that the Aquaculture Firm, with a production capacity of 10 million Tilapia fish would serve local and international market and provide jobs for youths.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Dotun Sorunke also corroborated that the visit was to assess water assets that abound in the State, proffer ways of harnessing them and come out with innovative technology that would be beneficial to youth farmers in the State.
“We are going round to assess water and resources in Ogun State, so we can harness them. The companies here are using innovations and technology in aquaculture and we want our youth to key into it”, he submitted.
Speaking on behalf of the firm, Mr. Govinda Raju Siddagangaiah, who revealed that the farm has 200 metric tons production capacity, said the organisation also produces frozen tilapia fish, he thanked the team for the visit, promising to do more in order to meet envisaged food challenge.