By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
The Federal Government on Monday in Asaba, Delta State lamented deficiency of adequate animal protein in local fish production.
Government said that the situation was currently occasioned by the deficit in fish production.
Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Abdulkadiri Mu’azu who made this known, said that Federal Government had moved to increase the quantum, stating that with a population of nearly two million, Nigeria was grossly under provided with the essential food nutrients.
He said, “the total local fish production in Nigeria currently stands about 700,000 tons per annum while average annual importation is estimated at some 800,000 tons, projected demand for fish in the country stands about three million tons, suggesting actual shortfall of 1.5 million tons or 50 percent of the estimated demand.”
Mu’azu disclosed that the Buhari led administration targeted the increased and sustainable production of over one million tons of aquaculture fish per annum within the next five years, adding that it intended to do through the development of local capacity.
He added that, “You note that the present administration recognizes need to harness and mobilize the human resources of the country into actionable programme that will make meaningful impact on the economy.
“Towards this end, it has set up a deliberate and aggressive drive for the training of our unemployed youths and farmers nationwide on the different agricultural enterprises along the value chains under crops, agricultural mechanization, horticulture, livestock, fishery and aquaculture as well as agricultural extension,” he said.
He said that the training is particularly important because it is in line with the present administration’s efforts at addressing the problems of unemployment in the country which has not only become a major threat to the quality of life but also adversely affect the daily activities.