We are playing politics with agriculture and I think it will not be good for us in the long run. From all indications, the future of this country lies with the agriculture and this entirely depends on what we do now to sustain a better future for our chi
Stakeholders deliberate on export of shrimps
As agriculture continues to be seen as the most viable means of economic diversification in Nigeria, one of the areas now being considered by Nigerians is fishery which can be best achieved in a riverside area like Lagos State. Usually, Lagos State Government has concentrated its agricultural activities on aspects where it has competitive advantage such as fisheries.
This development informed the need for the holding of a brainstorming session during a regional workshop organised by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) on the Use of Ecosystem Approach for Fisheries Management (EAF-Nansen Project) which, among other sustainability issues, focused on the appraisal of the Shrimp Fisheries Management plans of the key participating countries - Nigeria, Cameroon and Gabon.
Speaking at the opening plenary of the Workshop, FAO Co-coordinator, Dr. Kwame Koranteng, stated that the project was particularly important given the amount of wealth generated from shrimp fisheries and the notable contribution of the fisheries sub-sector to the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the participating countries.
In her keynote remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Mrs. Ibukun Odusote, represented by the Acting Director of Fisheries in the Ministry, noted that the fisheries sub-sector, through the on-going Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) of President Goodluck Jonathanled administration, contributes immensely to the Nigerian economy.
According to her, the objective of the workshop was to ascertain the existence, size and practicality of the shrimp fisheries implementation plans of each participating countries.
In his presentation, the EAFNansen Project Co-coordinator Dr. Kwame Koranteng from Rome, Italy, stated that the project was supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation that used to assist quite a number of countries in Africa.
The Programme Manager, ‘Developing World Fisheries Programme’ of the Marine Stewardship Council, United Kingdom, Mrs. Oluyemisi Oloruntuyi, said for the goal of the workshop to be achieved, the shrimp products from these countries would have to be certified.
Oloruntuyi said: “The idea of certification is centered on being able to talk about your fisheries in a way that indicates its amount of sustainability and this is becoming increasingly important around the world.”
Also, the President of Nigerian Trawler Owners Association Mr. Joseph Overo stated: “If the government can make available security to safeguard the waters and, by so doing, making it possible for us to fish, we would then have the incentive to continue operations.”