Lagos State Government has empowered 190 youth and women in Afowo Community, Badagry in the fish cage culture system to further drive youth and women empowerment in order to help them to make positive changes.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya who made this known at the symbolic stocking of the cages in Badagry explained that each of the cages would be stocked with 1,000 juveniles of both tilapia and catfish.
She added that each of the beneficiaries would also be given 20 bags of fish feeds, medication, as well as a monthly stipend of N15,000 for four months before the fish is harvested.
“We thank you for the opportunity given to us as Lagos State Government to come to Afowo Community here in Badagry to empower the youth specifically in this area. The idea for Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is to drive youth empowerment to levels such that in different Communities, the youth there are fully empowered to begin to make positive changes and make impacts in and around where they live.
“We had 60 cages here before. Now you have 190 in total. Majority of the 130 new beneficiaries are the youth. We did not want political interference of any sort, so we allowed the youth in the area to help us in selecting the beneficiaries for this project.
“We called the youth amongst you that have been successful in this project to help us pick people who are serious about wanting to get into the cage and pen culture so that at least, with the little that you get from here, you will also be able to support your families.
“We have built cages for you. Each of the cages will be stocked with 1,000 juveniles of both tilapia and catfish. In addition, you all will be given bags of fish feed, medication, as well as N15,000 for 4 months before your fish is harvested. It is now left to you to turn all of these to a profitable business,” the Commissioner noted.
She disclosed that the fish would be organic to a large extent since they would be reared in their natural habitat which usually makes them taste better; as such, it would be easier to get off-takers to buy the fish off their hands once they are ready for harvest.
Olusanya enjoined the beneficiaries to learn from those who were there before them and have been successful as well as government officials who are on ground to help such that at the end of the day, they would be able to get a harvest of good size table fish, sell them, restock and grow the business.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Hakeem Adeniji congratulated the beneficiaries and the community as a whole for allowing such a revolutionary project in their domain adding that the project was already generating interest from private sector investors who would like to tap into the many benefits of the fish cage culture.
He urged the beneficiaries to take the fish cage culture as their passion and strive to produce massive-sized fishes for harvest by ensuring that they feed their fish properly, monitor them closely and call for help if and whenever they get stuck.
“Once again I congratulate all the beneficiaries. To add to what the Honorable Commissioner has said, what we have started here is like a revolution; already this experiment has been generating interest from private sector investors and they have approached us to allocate a place for them so they can replicate what is here.
“You all should count yourselves very lucky. The community as well is blessed and I commend you for being receptive to this idea and making it become a reality,” Adeniji asserted.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr. David Aladeotan appreciated the State Government and everyone else who have put in efforts to make sure that the cage culture system of fishing is a success especially in Afowo, Badagry.
He, therefore, assured the State Government that each of the beneficiaries would fully maximize all that have been given to them in order to help them build a business form it thereby increasing fish production in the State.