College trains, empowers youths in Catfish production, processing
Ramping up support for diversifying the economy, reducing food import bills, creating employment opportunities and lubricating the economy, the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology (FCAH&PT), Ibadan has empowered 205 youths, women and retirees in the business of catfish production, processing and marketing, with financial support from the Federal Government.
The participants were trained in a two-week intensive classroom and practical session with the modules covering catfish rearing, fingerling and juvenile catfish productions, table-size catfish production, processing into smoked fish using modern kilns and marketing of both fresh and smoked fish.
As part of the empowerment, each participant was given 200 units of post-juvenile catfish, bags of fish feeds and transport allowance.
Femi Banjoko, Director of Vocational Training at the college, said participants included graduates, retirees, youths and women, adding the college was ready to train as many as possible with the support of the government and corporate organisations.
Provost of the college, Dr. Funmilayo Adejinmi advised participants to utilise the knowledge, skill and inputs given to them to empower themselves and others.
She also advised them to add value by processing their fish into smoked fish for longer shelf life and better income. Adejinmin said fish is a widely accepted source of protein that could create thousands of jobs and reduce unemployment.
South West Regional Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs C. A. Awe, commended the college for putting together the skills programme, lamenting heavy fish import despite Nigeria’s capacity in aquaculture production.
“These starter packs are not to be sold. Justify the resources the government was putting into this by practising fish farming,” the regional director said.
Adebisi Lana, representative of State Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture assured of Government’s adequate and frequent support in fish production and processing, adding that agriculture had become a saving grace for the dwindling national resources.
One of the trainees, Mrs. Omilabu Adetutu, expressed gratitude to the college for the training in fisheries production and allied businesses. He promised that participants would utilise the inputs to earn income and boost the economy.