Nigeria’s Investment in Agric Rises to N100b—Minister
By Dipo Olowookere
Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, has disclosed that investment in the agricultural sector in Nigeria has significantly grown since the inception of the present administration.
According to the Minister, Nigeria’s investment in agriculture increased to N100 billion in 2017 from N15 billion in 2015.
Mr Lokpobiri made this disclosure when he received in audience a four-man delegation of World Fish officials led by the Country Representative Director, Dr Harrison Chris Karisa, in his office recently in Abuja.
The Minister, during the meeting, expressed worry by the low level of development in aquaculture in Nigeria and expressed the readiness of government to increase the level of fish production and aquaculture in the country.
He expressed optimism that sustainable fish production will also boost national revenue as well as serve as remedies of malnutrition and protein deficiency intake in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is poised to change the narrative in fish and aquaculture. We need to maximize the limited time to achieve world fish initiative,” Mr Lokpobiri.
He assured the delegation that the country will partner the World Fish which is a highly reputable and respected organization as expert in the production of Tilapia which is more affordable for the poor masses.
Earlier, one of the delegates, Professor Yusuf Abubakar, expressed the desire of his organization to establish a Nigerian country office with more emphasis on boosting Tilapia fish industry in Nigeria, saying the country has lesson to learn from Egypt which today is the 3rd world producer of Tilapia fish.
Professor Abubakar also said the Fish Research Organization would also build capacities of the Research Institutes which would in turn enhance the capacity of small holder farmers for a new programme in Tilapia fish production.
He assured that Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation was ready to fund the proposed Word Fish Centre Nigeria fishing programme.
The visit by the delegation of World Fish Organization to the Ministry was a build up to the two-day stakeholders’ workshop on development of World Fish Research in Nigeria which is being organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with World Fish.