By Joshua Olalekan, Lagos
Lagos State Government has state that it had harvested 50 tonnes of catfish in six months since the introduction of the commercial Cage Culture System fish farming.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Mr Oluwatoyin Suarau, said this during an inspection tour of the fish farm at the Agbowa-Ikosi Beach in Ikosi Ejirin Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.
He said that the new system was introduced by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode led administration to increase fish production and create more jobs for youths in the state.
On August 11, 2016, 60 youth were trained at the Agbowa-Ikosi Beach in Ikosi Ejirin Local Council Development Area of the state on the Cage Culture System, to promote fish farming and to empower them.
Suarau expressed delight at the success of the programme and encouraged youths to embrace fish farming as a big-time business to build a prosperous future for themselves.
The commissioner explained that the declining production by fishermen informed the policy shift of the government from capture fisheries to fish farming, otherwise known as aquaculture.
According to him, cage culture system is a cheaper method of fish rearing which allows for fish to be reared in their natural habitat.
‘‘For some years, the development of Aquaculture has existed as the utilisation of earthen ponds in the rural communities with close proximity to the Lagoon and other water bodies.
‘‘Currently, the use of concrete fish ponds in upland areas has gained wide acceptance and now the state has introduced the Cage Culture System by rearing the fish in their natural water bodies; this makes fish farming easier with less stress.
‘‘This system of fish farming is one of the ways employed by the government to maximise the benefits of the abundance of water resources which accounts for about 22 percent of the state’s landmass,’’ he said.
Suarau said that the Agbowa – Ikosi site was the starting point for the project which the government intended to replicate in Badagry, Eti-Osa, Ikorodu and Epe riverine areas of the state.
Also speaking, Mr Sanni Okanlawon, Special Adviser to Ambode on Food Security, urged other youths in the state to take advantage of the new fish farming initiative.
Okanlawon said that the state government was ready to partner with anyone or group willing to contribute to the food security agenda of the state government.
Also speaking, Dr Olayiwole Onasanya, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, described the system as an environmental-friendly way of increasing fish supply in the state.
Agriculture: Lagos harvests 50 tons of catfish in 6 months
By Joshua Olalekan, Lagos