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Federal Government announces plans to establish Industrial Parks.
Supervising Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Darius Ishaku.
The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs has announced plans to establish Industrial Fish Parks in four locations within the Niger Delta region.
A statement from the ministry, said the supervising minister, Darius Ishaku, announced this while inspecting a large-scale fish farm on the Akosumbo Dam on Volta River in Ghana's Eastern Region.
He said the idea to establish the Industrial Fish Parks was to boost fish production in the country, explaining that the parks will also help to address the issue of unemployment as jobs will be created for the youths in the region and at the end contributing to national food security.
Nigeria currently imports 1.9 million metric tons of fish worth N125 billion annually to supplement the 800, 000 metric tons domestic production.
Dickson noted that with large bodies of water in the creeks and inlets into the Atlantic Ocean, it was possible to establish similar fish farms in the Niger Delta region to produce enough fish to meet the current estimated national demand of 2.7 million metric tons per annum and export the surplus to earn foreign exchange for the country.
According to the statement signed by the Director of Information, Mr. Salisu Na'inna Danbatta, the minister was impressed by the farm, and assured that necessary and conducive atmosphere would be provided by the Federal Government for investors to replicate the type of fish farm he visited in Ghana.
The minister said the ministry would collaborate with investors to establish an integrated large scale fish farm in the Niger Delta region with necessary facilities for hatching billions of fingerlings, fish feeds production and a high-capacity fish processing and packaging plant.
The minister explained that the large-scale farm will in addition to fish farming, will also supply fingerlings and fish feeds to three medium-size satellite fish farms in the region as well as assist them in the processing and packaging of their fish during harvests. He noted that most communities in the Niger Delta flourished on fishing for centuries and emphasized the need to empower them to reap from the benefits of fish farming, which he was optimistic will consolidate their skills in managing fishery value chain from hatchery to marketing.
The Minister, who was conducted round the 120 fish-cage farms by the farm Manager, Mr. Marc Towers, was informed that the four tons of fish harvested daily from the farm does not meet the daily demand of its customers, noting that the farm has 80 permanent staff, recruits additional 15 temporary staff at high season and sold 85 per cent of its processed fish through wholesalers and 15 per cent to retailers. (Source - Daily Independent)