In keeping with the Stronger Delta agenda of the Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa led administration to turn Delta State into a food basket as well as develop human capital through job and wealth creation, the Delta State government has today distributed bags of fish feed to fish farmers in the state.
The distribution which is a continuation of the Delta State 2020 Aquaculture Development/ Mentorship Program aims to disburse 9,540 bags of fish feed to mentors which would then be distributed to the various mentees under them.
Speaking at the occasion, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Julius Egbedi, said that the program would have commenced a long time ago, but was delayed as a result of the difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He revealed that 1,800 bags of fish feed would be distributed to the mentors who were present for the ceremony, while the rest would be given to the other participants in the program, for onward distribution to the mentees.
The Commissioner further revealed that the state government had other aquaculture programs in store which would be of great benefit to Deltans and the state and called on the beneficiaries to take the program seriously, saying that the success of the program would guarantee its continuity so that others too can benefit.
Addressing the mentors, Hon. Egbedi admonished them to work hard to ensure that their mentees are successful so that they can pay back their loan, saying ‘if they succeed, you succeed and if they fail, you have failed.’
He wished them the very best in their endeavors and urged them to continue to support the Ministry and the government by taking putting in all their efforts to ensure the success of government’s empowerment programs.
Earlier, the Director for Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mrs. Mrs Uju Osadebe, said that the program, which is a Mentee/ Mentor based program where trainees were placed under established farm owners for mentorship and training, sets out to train 150 participants in aquaculture and would empower 90 participants with 2,000 juveniles as well as 20 15kg bags of fish feed to be used for the next eight weeks before disbursement of a second tranche.
The Director explained that the packages given to the beneficiaries was a loan and they were expected to pack back one fifth of the total amount to the state government.
The mentors, she said, were gathered here today to receive feed for their mentees and would be responsible for ensuring that the feed gets to the intended people and also ensuring that it is judiciously used.
While enjoining the participants to justify the confidence reposed in them by the state government by succeeding, she commended the government for the program saying that it was a laudable one which would go a long way in reducing unemployment in the state as well as shoring up its food security.
Responding on behalf of the participants, Mr. Festus Inukwe, MD Oma Global Farms, thanked the government for the opportunity to participate in the program, saying it was a good one and promised that they would work hard to ensure its success for the sake of its continuity so that others too can benefit.
Highpoint of the ceremony was the handing over of bags of feeed to the participants gathered there.