9th August, 2010
Lagos State needs 257,000 Tons of fish annually in order to meet the World Health Organisation, WHOâ€™s recommendation of 15kg/caput fish consumption.
Currently, the state produced 157,000 tons of fish annually and needs an additional 100,000 tons of fish production annually to meet the WHO recommendation.
Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Mr. Olusegun Onamuti disclosed this at the weekend in Lagos, Nigeria at the 6th annual Executive Weekend training on Investment Opportunities in Fish Farming.
He said Lagos, with 22 percent of its land mass covered by water, no doubt had abundant potential for fishing which had been the major pre-occupation for the people.
â€œIt is, however, sad to note that due to a number of factors which include pollution, high cost of fishing inputs, use of obnoxious fishing methods, rural-urban drift and over fishing, among others, the state has not been able to meet its demand for fish.
“This scenario necessitated a shift in policy focus by the Lagos State Government from capture fisheries to fish farming, which is a more environmentally friendly means of fish production,â€ he said.
Onamuti disclosed that in the last five years, over 400 people had been trained with multiplier effects on capacity building, employment generation, poverty alleviation and wealth creation, adding that this yearâ€™s training had been specially designed to accommodate and elucidate latest advances and technologies towards improved fish production.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Co-operatives, Chief Enock Ajiboso said Lagos had many agricultural areas investors could tap into and make a fortune out of fish farming, which had a large market in the state.
According to him, investors could explore the opportunity to invest in the stateâ€™s Marine Agricultural Development programme which involved the use of open water bodies for the commercial culture of fish in fish cages and pens.
He, however, disclosed that there was a collaboration between the state government and the University of Lagos on the utilisation of the university Lagoon front for the setting up of a fish cage culture system for research and educational purposes.
â€œThis is expected to be of immense benefit to both the students and artisanal fishermen in Maroko axis of the Lagos Lagoon.Â Government has also embarked on the construction of a jetty platform to serve as anchorage for multiple cage system at the university water front.
â€œThis will enable prospective investors to establish fish cages on communal basis at reduced costs,â€ he said.
The commissioner also said that investors could invest in the stateâ€™s fish farm estate development, an initiative designed as tool for accelerated fish production targeted at the low income group such as artisanal fishermen, school leavers as well as high income groups and corporate bodies.
On the Ketu-Ereyun Fish Farm Estate in Ikosi-Ejinrin Local Council Development Area, Ajiboso stated that the estate situated on 60 hectares farmland was designed to accommodate 400 production plots.
â€œThe land has been surveyed and laid out into plots.Â An Estate Management Office and a front fence with gate have also been constructed.Â Â The estate is expected to produce about 20,000 tonnes of fresh fish per annum when fully established.
â€œA presentation to sensitise the public on this initiative will be organised very soon.Â Â Efforts are being made to get a bank to finance the estate for prospective buyers on mortgage arrangement,â€ he stated.