NAN – The Federal Government has said, through its Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme, it supported 18,580 fishermen and 14,800 fish farmers between 2013 and 2014 across the country.
This was contained in a report of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Thursday.
The report stated that the Federal Government supported the fish farmers with free catfish juvenile, feeds, nets, ropes, floats, boats and sinkers.
NAN reports that the GES scheme is a flagship programme of the Federal Government, through which farm inputs are accessed at subsidised rates by farmers.
The scheme is being expanded to include access to farm machineries, loan facilities, insurance and extension services.
According to the report, 17,500 fishermen in Adamawa, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, Edo, Imo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Plateau, and Taraba benefitted in 2013.
These states got a total of 5,575 bundles of nets, 11,150 bundles of ropes, 5,575 of floats and 11,150 of sinkers, the report stated.
In 2014, the report stated that a total of 200 fishermen per state benefited across 27 states which include, Adamawa, Anambara, Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, Edo and Imo.
The others are Jigawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Plateau, Taraba, Zamfara, Yobe, Sokoto, Rivers, Nasarawa, Lagos, Cross River, Borno, Bauchi and Jigawa.
It noted that the Federal Government gave 1,080 boats and 1,080 free insulated boxes which were distributed to farmers across at 50 per cent subsidy.
The report put the total cost of government support to fishermen in 2014 at about N1.6 million.
The report noted that a total of 400 farmers in each state of the federation including the FCT got free catfish juvenile at 50 per cent subsidy.
The report put the total cost of government’s support to fish farmers in 2014 at about N2.6 million.
Fish farmers in the country have called on the government at all levels to create an enabling environment to boost fish production in the country.