The Lagos State Government says it is training 800 people in four weeks in modern catfish production and processing to enable them to augment their earnings as workers and create jobs for the unemployed in the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Ruth Abisola-Olusanya who declared open a three-day training for the purpose in Lagos on Friday, said that it was part of the present administration’s measures aimed at stabilising the state and empowering the people.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the workshop is“ Capacity Building on Production and Processing of Catfish in Lagos State” targeted at 200 trainees weekly for four weeks.
NAN also reports that the workshop was organised by the Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority supported by the British American Tobacco Foundation.
The participants will receive processing equipment through cooperatives societies to make their products competitive in the international market.
On the occasion, the commissioner represented by Ms Tokunbo Emokpai, a Director in the ministry, said that the support from the Foundation over the years was felt by farmers in the state.
She said that the adverse impact of the COVID-19 was the disruption of socio-economic activities, means of livelihood, loss of jobs, claiming lives of the people adding that there was need for such interventions.
Abisola – Olusanya said that, to return the people and the state to normalcy the impediment in the supply chain of essential food items such as fish needed to be addressed.
“This programme is vital to the state in making the state a 21st century economy.
“The state’s agenda was blazoned as a strategy document for policy formulation .
“It is aimed at aggressively transforming the state into a 21st century economy and meeting the yearnings of the people.
“The collaboration will undoubtedly address ways to make the transition from subsistence farming to sustainable commercial agriculture and empowers the next generation.
“The importance of this programme is great because without well-nourished meals none of us will be here.
“Fish farming provides an important source of protein and nutrients essential for healthy living,” the commissioner said.
Also, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Shakirudeen Olayiwole-Onasanya, said that the session was a well-thought-out one aimed at making the participants responsive to both domestic and international markets.
Represented at the event by Dr Olamilekan Pereira-Sheteolu, the permanent secretary urged the beneficiaries to internalise the programme and educate people within their reach for even development.
One of the participants, Dr Mariam Akinbande, described the session as “an eye opener”, while noting that farmers were trained in fish hatchery, incubation, injection, processing and packaging for export.
Akinbade said that many of them that were practising sustenance farming were now looking forward to expanding their farms to meet market demands.