Ondo State Government on Tuesday started the process of training of over 100 youths in fishery and aquaculture, as parts of its programme, tagged ‘Blue Revolution’, to boost revenue in the state.
The Blue Revolution is a programme designed by Ondo State Government to boost fish production in the state.
Ondo State Governnor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, at the flagging off of the programme in Akure said the project was to improve fish value chain in the state.
Akeredolu, represented by his Deputy, Mr Lucky Aiyedatiwa said the project would open several opportunities like production of fingerlings, fish farming equipments,shrimp production,feed production, enhancement of protein intake and improved IGR.
The governor, who said that the country was still lagging behind on the United Nation’s standard in terms of animal protein intake, said that government would partner a company in Neitherland,Indigo fisheries, in building Aquaculture resource centre in the state.
“My dear people,we cannot continue to rely on importation of fish when we have seemingly idle water bodies. We cannot continue to complain about unemployment when we have openings that we can exploit to create self sustaining jobs.
“Our population is increasing as a country, we are at present over 200million. We are grossly below the United nations standard interms of animal protein intake.
“You can see why we have to redouble our efforts. World demand for fish is increasing continuously and I see this as an opportunity for us. We have no reason for the under-utilisation of our water bodies like igbara oke multipurpose dam, Awara Dam,Ogbese,oluwa,ose etc.
“Food security, self sustaining job creation, enhanced protein intake, improved igr and source of foreign exchange,” he said.
Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Agric and Agricbusiness ,Pastor Akin Olotu, said the one hundred trainees would be exposed to mechanised way of rearing various species of fish for local and international production.
Olotu, who is also the Chairman of OSAEC, said he was happy that he advised the governor that it would crime to let dams and water bodies in the state to be wasting without being put to use.
He said he noted that the state had not done well in the area of aquaculture,asides giving feeds to fish farmers, and the state was ready to promote fish value chain.
He noted that importation of fish was part of the reasons Nigerian Naira was weakened and CBN had to ban importation of fish and was ready to put Ondo State on the map of leading fish producers.
“I was chairman of OSACA, (Ondo State Agricultural Commodity Agency), I took pain and time to look at different commodities value chain, especially in Africa, and i look at Ghana, Akosombo dam in Ghana is providing job for about 250,000 Ghannians, directly or indirectly when you look at the entire value chain.
“And I was convinced, we can do the same thing in Ondo State. I had discussion with Mr Governor and leaving these dams, this multipolar dams idle, to me is criminal. The southern senatorial District of the state could become the hub of aquaculture.
“We have rivers that are very underutilised.we have assembled some young participants. Availability is key; make yourself available. You don’t need certificate as long as you are teachable,” he said.
Also, Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry,Mr Olayato Aribo appreciated Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for using Agriculture as a major source of employment in the state.