The Federal Government has reiterated its readiness to partner Ogun State in the growth of fisheries in the country for being a viable State in agriculture.
The Minister of state for Agriculture and Rural development, Heineken Lokpobiri stated this while commissioning four projects built by the Ministry in Eriwe, Ijebu-Ode, saying that Government is particularly interested in Ogun State because, “If agriculture succeeds in Ogun, agriculture has succeeded in Nigeria”.
The commissioned projects include a feed mill, cold room, fish market and the processing unit.
The projects intended to make the estate a real fish farming cluster where the farmers will fully appropriate all the advantages of fish farming value chain is reputed to be the biggest fish farm in Africa with over 3,000 fish ponds scattered over an estimated 156 hectares of land and an average fish farming production turnover of about 2,500 metric tons annually with income generation of about N2 billion annually.
The minister particularly appreciated the efforts of the Eriwe community in fish farming, which he noted, has assisted the Government grow the fishery sector in Nigeria.
“When the present administration came to power, the local production of fish was only about 600,000 metric tons, but with the support of the likes of the Eriwe community, that figure has been increased to about 1.1 million metric tons which represents almost 100 per cent increment.
“There is still a lot to be done because our national demand is about 3.5 million metric tons and we are producing about 1.1 million metric tons, which means that we are only producing about one third of our national demand”. He said.
With the successes recorded in fishing, the people of Eriwe community have began to diversify into other agricultural projects, like, poultry and piggery which they have also acquired land outside the estate for cocoa plantation.