…’We’ve Been Empowered To Contribute To Food Security Drive’

A cross section of beneficiaries of the special training on Aquaculture and its value chain organized by the Office of Lagos State First Lady, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu in collaboration with the State’s Ministry of Agriculture have lauded the wife of the Governor for her initiative to encourage people to go into farming and contribute to the country’s food security drive.

Speaking at the training organized for members of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO), civil servants and representatives of some groups, the beneficiaries said the training was worth the while and it had equipped them with the skills to go into commercial fish farming.

The 3-day training, held at the Cooperative College Training Room and Agriculture Development Authority Complex, Oko-Oba, Agege From August 31 to September 2, 2020, is the first batch of the trainings line up by the Office of the First Lady to train people in fish farming, poultry, and crops in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture.

A participant, Mrs Adeola Rotinwa said she benefited immensely from the training about fish farming and its value chain.

“I really appreciate the First Lady of Lagos State, Dr (Mrs) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu for giving us the opportunity to learn about fish farming value chain. We have learnt so far on how to hatch fish, how to smoke fish, drying, selling and exporting fish, among others.

“We also learn about how to have a cooperative and collaborate to form a business either to sell fish or to sell the fingerlings. I thank the Office of the First Lady and the Ministry of Agric for this opportunity and we are also praying that going forward, they will assist in empowering us to take this fish farming value chain to the next level of feeding the nation,” Rotinwa said.

Another participant, Mrs Olajumoke Saliu said the training was an eye opener in terms of the opportunities inherent in fish farming.

“So far, we have learnt how to do the fish farming from fingerlings to table fish, among others. They have taken us through the process and even told us that when you have the fish, there is a way you can add more value to it to put more market on it whether locally or internationally as much as making fish fillet, making fish snacks, and making canned food with fish without preservatives.

“We are learning how to do it the organic way and also giving us value that we can also add to people at our own different ends.

“It is a big privilege. We want to thank the Office of the First Lady and the First Lady especially, Dr. (Mrs.) Claudiana Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu. She is impacting lives because this is not just about the people being trained as they will go out, create more jobs and reach out to others. This is a total package that we are grateful for. This is what we will surely take to the next level to impact positively on the food security within our nation and State,” Saliu said.

On her part, Princess Ramat Adeyinka-Ola said she joined the training in furtherance of the interest she has for fish farming, just as she commended the First Lady for the initiative.

Also, another participant, Mrs Sumoni Oluwatoyin said the First Lady deserved to be appreciated for her initiative to empower women to contribute positively to the society.

“First of all, I want to thank the First Lady for what she has been doing for us. We are happy because she does not want us to stay at home doing nothing. She wants us to learn more and this is the essence of this training,” Oluwatoyin said.

For Mr Musbau Ayinde Jimoh, the training was a big opportunity for him to prepare for forming ahead of retirement.

“When this programme came up, I thought it was an opportunity for me to learn. I have come here, I have seen, I have learnt a lot especially in the area of value chain. From the beginning to the end, there is a lot of opportunity in aquaculture, especially in a place like Lagos State where there is high demand for fish and the rest of them and I hope that this will be extended to other colleagues of mine.

“For the sponsors, I want to appreciate the Office of the First Lady for this opportunity and the Ministry of Agriculture for bringing up this programme. It is a welcome development and I will like to attend the advanced stage or even repeat this course so that I can have an in depth knowledge of how to manage my firm when I get retired,” Jimoh said

Apart from the training, participants were also told about how to access the agric fund of the Lagos State Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Support (APPEALS), which is a World Bank assisted project.


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