Awka – The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) of Anambra State Fisheries and Aquaculture Business Development Agency (FABDA), Mr. Emeka Iloghalu has revealed that the state government has commenced development of fish production villages across the three senatorial zones in the state.
He made the revelation during an interview with TNC correspondent in Awka.
Iloghalu said the State keyed into two of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) products and secured a N3.5b credit facility, Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme (CACS)-(N2.0b) and Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS)- (N1.5b).
“The CACS is for disbursement to Agricultural businesses including the Fisheries and Aquaculture businesses while the AADS is strictly for infrastructure development in the areas of Rice and Aquaculture production only,” he revealed.
Iloghalu revealed that Anambra is the only state in the country presently with a well established Agency for fisheries and aquaculture business development.
This according to him, has ensured that the state is the most viable in this area with a very high potential for massive industrialization of the Fisheries and Aquaculture sector in the West African Region, not withstanding any seeming challenges.
“FADBA is currently profiling Fish Production Businesses to prepare them to benefit from the CBN-CACS Loan scheme being administered by the Anambra state Small and Medium Business Agency (ASBA).
“With the AADS fund, the Anambra State Government has been able to commence the construction of the Fish Production Villages in the three senatorial zones. They are located in Aguleri for Anambra North, Okija for Anambra South and Adazi Nnukwu for Anambra Central. Note also that these CBN product funds were sourced by the state government through the Ministry of Agriculture but the relevant and statutory agencies take their roles for greater effectiveness and higher efficiency of the government,” he noted.
The FABDA Managing Director noted that each of these fish production villages have been designed to accommodate at least 300 ponds at the initial stage and is expected to produce between 75,000kg to 225,000kg of table fish per month which translates to up to 2,700,000kg of only table fish per annum.
He said; “Most importantly, these villages are to train thousands of Youths, Women and underemployed persons simultaneously.
“We designed these fish production villages to produce mainly table fish because it is a key FABDA strategy to use the Fish Production Villages across the state to stimulate and grow many other very viable businesses in the value chain which are all directly interlinked like the Fingerlings Production business, the Fish Feed Trading and Production businesses, the Processed Fish Production (smoked or filleted fish or iced fish) businesses, fish logistics businesses and so on. This project will give initial employment of up to 450 direct jobs and more than 2,700 indirect jobs and will increase as the programmes and production models expand.”
Iloghalu commended Governor Willie Obiano for his huge investments in the Agricultural sector with special and tenacious focus on the Fisheries and Aquaculture Economy and Business Development.