Chairman, Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) Sam Erejuwa has expressed the readiness of his administration to empower the people of the mandate areas through investment in aquaculture and consequently reverse the trend of fish importation from neighboring towns and villages.
Erejuwa disclosed this on Wednesday 19th October during an interactive meeting with the staff of Agrisat Farm Nigeria Limited on the potentials and opportunities inherent in investing in fish farming in the Coastal Areas of the State.
According to Erejuwa, fish business is a gold mine which thrives everywhere in the country due to the high demand. Investing in it will therefore lift the people from poverty and also contribute to the prosperity of the mandate areas.
The CEO of the Agro venture, Mr. Aluko Oluwafemi Emmanuel said since fish farming is a veritable means of empowering the people of the riverine areas of the State, the Commission may wish to partner his organization and grant the approval to provide the required technical-know-how to the beneficiaries. These include: provision of floating cages, training on fish culturing and processing, provision of fish feeds etc.
Erejuwa commended the initiative with the assurance that the Commission will provide the necessary support to facilitate the project.
According to him, OSOPADEC cannot venture directly in the business, but can strengthen the capacity of the people to achieve the desired results, making fish available and empowering the people (especially the youths and women).
To achieve this, the Chairman hinted that about five (5) interested and purposeful farmers will be engaged and trained on the culturing of tilapia and catfish; with strict agreement to employ a significant number of youths from the area.
Corroborating the Chairman’s optimism on the initiative, the Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Victor Koledoye said when expanded, the business will not only reverse the lost glory of Ilaje and Ese-Odo as the domain of fish in the State but will also empower the youths and promote economic development.