By Christian Ogbonna
Abakaliki, Oct. 31, 2020 The Ebonyi State Government has charged fish farmers in the state to embrace modern packaging system to improve the value chain.
Mr Moses Nomeh, the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources gave the charge on Saturday in Abakaliki during a meeting with the Fisheries Cooperative Federation of Nigeria.
Nomeh explained that Ebonyi rice was being sold worldwide presently due to modern packaging.
“So, we want an improvement in the packaging system of fish to boost the value chain. Let me tell you, poor packaging can slow down business.
“In an open market, we want fish farmers to be selling products in weighing machine and improve packaging, so, that it can be exported to other states in the country.
“We have ordered members of the Fisheries Cooperative Federation to inaugurate a committee that can identify farmers in all villages in the 13 local government areas of the state.
“Governor David Umahi is ready to support and improve fish farming business for the people,’’ he stated.
The commissioner, however, enjoined the farmers to be focused, describing farming as a lucrative business.
Mr Evaristus Nwefuru, Chairman of the Fisheries Cooperative Federation of Nigeria, Ebonyi State chapter said that more than 2, 000 fish farmers had so far been registered in the state.
Nwefuru said a cluster farm had been secured at EzzaMgbo, Ohaukwu local government for members in the 13 local government areas in the state.
“We thank the state government for providing a market for us. The market is going to be divided into sections, including smoking, packaging, scaling and Seminar section.
“We have engaged and inaugurated chairmen in the 13 LGAs. Right now, we are conducting data capturing, and identification of fish farmers in the villages.
“I believe with these measures, fish will be surplus for our consumption and we can be able to export them,’’ Nwefuru said.