The Oyo State Government, on Wednesday, distributed 3,000 bags of 15kg fish feeds to 1,000 fish farmers across the state to alleviate the adverse effects of the petrol subsidy removal.
The distribution, which was part of the state’s Sustainable Actions for Economic Recovery (SAfER) initiative, provided three bags of 15kg fish feed to each selected fish farmer.
Chief of Staff to the Oyo Governor and head of the SAfER committee, Honourable Segun Ogunwuyi highlighted the state’s recognition of losing its position as the highest producer of catfish in Nigeria.
It was gathered that the decline was attributed to challenges such as the high cost of fish feed, leading to the closure of some fish farms and a reduction in production capacities.
Represented by the state Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Professor Musibau Babatunde, Ogunwuyi then explained that the distribution was aimed at improving fish production and enhancing aquacultural practices in the state.
The gesture, he revealed, was intended to support fish farmers and encourage them to revive the state’s glory in terms of massive fish production.
He urged the beneficiaries to use the fish feeds judiciously to ensure fish production sustainability and contribute to the economic recovery of the state, especially in the current critical period.
A beneficiary from Ido local government area, Mr. Adebayo Ayanwale, commended the state government’s gesture and called for more support for fish farmers in the state.
Chairman of the Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria, Oyo State chapter, Mr. Deji Adenugba, said the intervention was timely as fish farmers grappled with the high cost of feeds, leading some to leave the industry.
He also mentioned that fish farmers sought additional support, such as fingerlings, solar cold rooms, and solar freezers, to make their businesses more profitable.
In her own remarks, Permanent Secretary of the Oyo State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Christianah Abioye, stated that the distribution of 3,000 bags was expected to have a multiplier effect not only on the businesses of fish farmers but also on all residents of the state.