THE Edo State Government says it is making efforts to create a conducive environment that will attract investors and expand the 350,000 metric tonnes per annum aquaculture subsector to diversify the state’s economy.
Functioning Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Peter Aikhuomobhogbe Uidia, disclosed this during a virtual engagement with Edo indigenes in the Diaspora.
His words, “Aquaculture in Edo State is an emerging industry that is currently dominated by African catfish (Clarius garlepinus) and very limited number of tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) production enterprises. The industry is dominated by small scale farmers producing fish for household consumption and for the domestic market.
“The state has substantial aquaculture potential where commercial activities in the industry can contribute to poverty reduction and enhance food security.”
According to Uidia, Edo State has a swampland area of not less than 80,000 hectares and water that supports fish farming in over 60 per cent of the state.
“The current production level in the aquaculture subsector is estimated at not less than 350,000mt per annum. In the artisanal fisheries subsector, the state has not less than 6,000 fishing families. However, catch per unit effort is very low arising from production and infrastructural constraints,” he said.
The PS noted that Edo State was bestowed with significant fisheries resources from the aquatic resource base, as most of the state’s water bodies had substantial fisheries resources and opportunities for aquaculture development, both in marine and freshwaters.