The West African Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAP)through the Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, University of Ibadan in Ibadan the Oyo state capital in south west Nigeria has distributed 60,000 fish fingerlings to some farmers from Ogun state.
The Fingerlings distribution to farmers is in line with efforts to support the Federal Government in the areas of food production, entrepreneurship and job creation.
The distribution also formed part of a two day project site tour and implementation support mission by the World Bank of projects sponsored by WAAPP-Nigeria.
The acting National Coordinator of WAAP-Nigeria Mr. James Apochi says the project is aimed at boosting entrepreneurship and boosting food production.
“This project is to support the effort of the Federal Government to increase fish production and enhance food security in the country be extension jobs will be created, farmers income will be increased hence ending poverty in line with the Sustainable Development Goals country .”
He said, the Fingerlings distribution exercise is part of effort through WAAPP-Nigeria to support our fish farmers and increase agricultural productivity especially fish production in Nigeria….we are not going to stop here but we will continue to distribute fingerlings to other farmers across the country, with the ultimate aim to drive home the change agenda of President Muhammed Buhari in the agricultural sector.
The Head of Aquaculture and Fisheries Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, University of Ibadan, Prof Bamidele Omitoye, said WAAPP-Nigeria as a project has imparted on the department in the area of facility support.
Prof. Omitoye said WAAPP project has helped the department to upgrade her facilities which has imparted a lot on several Nigerians and several people from West and Central Africa from where we have hard visitors coming to use these WAAPP facilities for research and training.
He said WAAPP has provided water quality equipment which we are not only using for the project but for capacity building as well, they also provided ponds which we use for producing fingerlings and are also being used by research students.
He also stated that farmer groups and students from Mali, Cote d’Voire, Ghana, Cameron and across the West and Central coast and the Cat Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFA,) come regularly to be trained and they also use the facilities provided by WAAPP.
He however urged WAAPP-Nigeria to provide fish feed producing facility as fish Feed is a major issue in Nigeria’s aquaculture sector and if that feed meal equipment is provided, and then WAAPP would have made a landmark achievement in the aquaculture industry.
He said, I want to sincerely implore WAAPP and the World Bank to please include Nigeria in the second phase of the project implementation. This is because it will benefit the farmers more; now that there are request from farmers asking to be trained but without WAAPP, we will not have the financial strength to do that.
The West African Agricultural Productivity Project is a World Bank sponsored program to boost agriculture in the West African sub region and is a ten years program with a five years renewal period based on performance.