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Fish farmers to get govt subsidy
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has concluded plans to provide subsidies to operators of the fisheries sub-sector.
Under the intervention scheme, targeted at small-scale fisheries and aquaculture operators, basic inputs would be subsidised in line with the current Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS).
The Minister for Agriculture, Mr Akin Adesina, who disclosed this recently in Lagos during the roll out of GESS in the state, lamented that the fisheries sector had not been supported in the past, adding that he was determined to change the situation.
“We will extend GESS to fisheries because the sector has not been supported much. I am determined to change that without delay. Within the budget this year, I would like the value chain to expand production.”
Acknowledging the importance of artisanal fisheries, the minister assured that his ministry would not only ensure that artisanal fisheries population were captured, but also extend support to fishing nets and other inputs.
“We will provide service for mechanisation as well as look into how they can structure affordable financing mechanism,” he said.
Urging the operators within the fisheries to access the support through their cooperatives, he frowned at the lack of statistics, pointing out that the ministry does not have the statistics of the farmers, who they were, where they were and their challenges.
He maintained that biometric information of the fishermen and women that would benefit from the scheme will be captured to develop a database
Recognising the prospects and untapped opportunities in the fisheries export market, the minister said that artisanal fishery was an area neglected for so long; stressing that aquaculture could create many jobs by providing inputs, training and sensitisation.
He urged the stakeholders to conduct training for members, promising that by the time the ministry extended the GESS to artisanal fisheries and aquaculture, they would make progress.