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The Ogun State Government has distributed modern fish smoking kilns to fish farmers in rural communities, across the three Senatorial Districts of the State, as part of effort to boost their businesses and ease the effect of COVID-19 pandemic on fish farming production value-chain.
Speaking while distributing the equipment to some beneficiaries recently in Abeokuta, Commissioner for Rural Development, Engr. Taiwo Oludotun explained that about 1000 fish farmers would benefit from the initiative, adding that 30 units of the device would be shared among the fish farmers cooperative groups, whose members had been trained by the State government.
The Commissioner said the Prince Dapo Abiodun led administration embarked on the project to empower fish farmers, enjoining the beneficiaries not to sell the kilns, but could lent them out to other farmers.
“We all know that fish is a perishable product and the essence of providing this fish smoking kilns is for us to be able to preserve our fish and possibly empower our people in the rural area. So, please make sure you use it wisely and ensure other people benefit from it”, he said.
Also speaking, the Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in the Ministry, Mr. Adekunle Oyesanwen, commended Governor Dapo Abiodun for the opportunity given to the agency to empower the fish farmers cooperative, saying the gesture would go a long way in enhancing the economy base of the beneficiaries.
In her goodwill message, the Director of Fishery, Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Victoria Ojelade called on interested farmers to register their farm organisation with the Ministry for similar opportunity, pointing out that only recognised groups would benefit from government’s programme.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Presidents, Model Farmers, Owowo, Ewekoro and Ejalonibu Farmers’ Cooperative, Araromi, Sagamu, Mrs. Yetunde Akinsowon and Mr. Talabi Adewunmi respectively, described distribution of the kilns as a good development, emphasising that the gesture would enhance business and living standards of the members.