As part of efforts to assist fish farmers develop aquaculture businesses, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO-UN), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Federal Capital Territory Administration has organised a five-day training for fish processors, fabricators on the new FAO-Thiaroye Technique (FTT) fish smoking kiln technology.
Addressing newsmen during the training in Abuja, the Programme Officer, FAO, Adeola Akinrinlola, said the project is part of FAO’s Youth Empowerment in Aquaculture Programme targeting millions of youths in Africa.
She said the aim is to assist fish farmers develop aquaculture businesses, while organising them into cooperatives to enable them have better access to markets for good deals.
While reiterating the commitment of the organisation to collaborate with the federal and state governments in all the implementation processes of the programme, she noted that FAO has successfully trained up to 1000 youths in three states including the Federal Capital Territory.
She said the organisation has invested over $500,000 on the project to encourage food safety and create decent employment opportunities for the youth through sustainable aquaculture systems and cassava value chain in Nigeria.
According to her, “When we saw that people don’t consider food safety especially from farm, we decided to encourage it by looking at food safety, standard and quality. Also to provide job opportunities for Nigerian youths.”
Explaining the capacity of the new method, she said that at least 800 fish will be smoked and dried at once within a short while, adding that three out of four compartments of the machines have been installed already for processors.
Also speaking, chairman, Kado Fish Market Traders Association, Mohammed Ibrahim, while commending FAO for the initiative, said the new method will not only cut down stress, but will reduce the price of processed fish especially if members agree to key into it.
He said the aim is not for local production alone, but for export purpose, adding that the new method will also reduce the cost of processing.
Source: Leadership Newspaper