July 11, 2012 – Ministry Of Agriculture Extends Subsidy To Fisheries, Boosts Export
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will soon begin to provide subsidies to operators in the fisheries sub-sector as already being done to crop farmers.In the intervention targeted at small-scale fisheries and aquaculture operators, the basic inputs will be subsidised under the current Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) of the Agric ministry.
This was disclosed Tuesday by the Agric Minister, Dr. Akin Adesina, at Oko Oba, Agege, during the roll out of the GESS in Lagos State.Special Assistant on Media, to the minister, Dr. Olukayode Oyeleye, in a statement, said the minister told the participants at the Aquaculture value chains meeting that “we will extend GES to fisheries because the sector has not been supported much. I am determined to change that.”
He added that “within the budget this year, I would like the value chain to expand production.”The minister acknowledged the importance of brood stock as “fundamental basis for production,” adding that, “just like fertiliser is to someone growing rice and maize, that is how brood stock is to someone growing fish.”He underscored the importance of artisanal fisheries, adding that “Artisanal fisheries population will be captured,” he noted.
He promised that “we will extend that support to fishing nets” and other inputs, stressing that, the operators could use their cooperatives, within the artisanal fisheries to access support.He also promised to “provide service for mechanisation, adding that “we will also look into how we can structure affordable financing mechanism, specifically for that, including outboard engines.”The minister, however, lamented the lack of good planning because of lack of statistics.We don’t know the farmers, who they are, where they are, their challenges, everything.
You can’t do anything unless you know your customers. In the GESS, we are doing it because we have registered the farmers.”Recognising the prospects and untapped opportunities in the fisheries export market, the minister said the artisanal fishery is an area neglected for so long.
According to him, in aquaculture “we can create so many jobs by providing inputs, training and sensitization.”On processing for export, he noted that “we have a chain in which we know what the safety standards are, so that we can meet them.” He advised stakeholders to conduct training for members, promising that, “by the time we extend the GES to artisanal fisheries and aquaculture, we will make progress.”