By Eshedagho Grace
In order to bridge the gap in the short fall in fish production in the State, the Delta State Government in conjunction with Greater Alaka Enterprises (GAE), Oleh, has organised training for youth on fish seed handling and management at Oleh in Isoko South Local Government Area.
Speaking at the occasion, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Hon. Julius Egbedi stated that the training became imperative as the annual fish demand of the state has a shortfall of 28,913 metric tons.
Hon. Egbedi who was represented by the Deputy Director Veterinary Services, Dr Edmund Orioko, said that the Delta State annual fish demand is approximately 87,000 metric tons but presently produces, both artisanal and aquaculture, 58,087 metric tons, stated that the training would offer the young fish farmers, “Source good quality fish seeds, handle them properly, manage them well to achieve good harvest.”
The agriculture commissioner explained that the training was aimed at informing and educating participants on the benefits of stocking motile and healthy fish seeds, detecting early signs of possible infections and diseases while acoiding in-beeeding.
He stated that the training afforded the youth fish farmers, to learn rearing fish in an enclosed water environment with the aim of achieving highest possible fish production in given circumstances and in the most economic manner, saying that this would go a long way to bridge the yawning gap between fish demand and supply in the state.
Hon. Egbedi also revealed that fish rearing was a potential job creation and income earnern, but without good quality fish seeds, proper handling and best management practices, the expected result at harvest may not be achieved.
He enjoined the young Deltans to sieze the opportunity offered by the self sustaining skills on fish seed handling and management so as to boost fish production for consumption of adequate fish protein, income generation as well as improving their socio-economic lifestyle.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Director of Fishery, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mrs Uju Osadebe, revealed that the training was taken to Oleh to meet the youth who are interested in fish farming at their door step also with the Greater Alaka Enterprises sites in Oleh that has one of the best hatchery facility.
Mrs Osadebe said that the majority of the participants of the training would be made to benefit from the approval of the 2021 Delta State Aquaculture Development Programme.
One of the participants who spoke to journalist, Mr Joel Emeni, thanked the state government for organising the training especially for the youth, saying that the training had exposed them to certain things unknown to them in fish rearing, even as he pleaded with the State Government to empower them with inputs so that the knowledge gained at the training would not be a waste.
Also a participants, Mrs Doris Efeizomor, who travel from Ika to attend the training at Oleh stated that fish farmers need assistance from the government inform of inputs and equipment to expand, so that they also, when they stand on their own would be train other youth who has interest in fish farming.
Highpoint of the training was the practical session in fish rearing and a group photograph by representative of the commissioner with the participants.