400 farmers benefit from growth enhancement support scheme in Bauchi
No fewer than 400 fish farmers have benefited from the Aquaculture Value Chain initiative of the Federal Government's Growth Enhancement Support scheme (GES) in Bauchi.
Alhaji Mohammed Yusuf, the Director of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the state, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Bauchi.
Yusuf explained that under the scheme, each farmer received 500 fingerlings free and five bags of feeds at 50 per cent discount.
He said that the gesture was to create enabling environment for sustainable production of more than one million tonnes of fish annually.
According to him, this is to meet the projected annual demand of 2.6 million tonnes of fish in the country.
He said one of the objectives of the initiative was to enhance the local production capacity and turn the country's from being a net importer of fish and fish products to a net exporter.
'The estimated local fish production in Nigeria currently stands at 600,000 tonnes annually, while importation is estimated at more than 700,000 tonnes.
'However, projected demand for fish in the country stands at about 2.6 million tonnes, which suggest a shortfall of 1.3 million tonnes.
'The Federal Government is, therefore, supporting the farmers to meet this demand such that Nigeria can be self-sufficient in fish production,'' he said.
The director noted that aquaculture value chain, if well implemented, would generate 500,000 jobs within five years. (NAN)