Anambra: Ogbaru council chairman seeks improved fish productivity
The transition chairman of Ogbaru Local Government of Anambra, Mr Arinze Awogu, has advocated the adoption of improved fishing method by the people of the area to improve their yield and economic rewards.
Awogu made the call when he visited Akpanam in Ossomala town, a major fish producing island on the River Niger as part of his COVID-19 awareness activities.
He said fish was a healthy and economical source of animal protein for people of all ages and would continue to be in high demand and urged the people to take advantage of the water resource to improve on their production.
He said Ogbaru who applauded the people for their hard work said Ogbaru could help mitigate the fight crisis that may ensue after Corona Virus lockdown if the farmers got the needed support.
He said it had become imperative to encourage technology supported fish production in Ogbaru as the poor farmers who rely on natural sources were becoming vulnerable due to depleting stock.
“There is no gain re-echoing the fact that Ogbaru Local Government Area is the fish net of Anambra state, from Odekpe to Ohita, to Atani and down to Ogwu-Ikpele, fish is God’s own gift to us, it is also a source of income
“Today, fish provides Ogbaru people with most of their daily animal protein as it provides nutrients and micronutrients that are essential to cognitive and physical development, especially in children, and are an important part of a healthy diet.
“I visited Akpanam in Ossomala, a fish hub on the island to encourage the farmers and explore the possibilities of introducing improved fishing technology that will make fishing in natural waters such as they have in Ogbaru less difficult and with much yield.
“I also informed them about covid-19 and the steps taken by the Gov. Willie Obiano to mitigate the effect of the pandemic and the need for them to stay safe even on the island,” he said.
Awogu decried the lack of processing and storage facilities which he said had led to huge economic loss and called on the state government and private investors to increase the value chain by acting as off-takers.
He called on Anambra residents and others parts of Nigeria to increase their fish intake as it could help boost their immunity and enhance their wellbeing.
“Regrettably, most agricultural produce including crop and aquatic from Ogbaru perish in the field as a result of no- off-takers, no-storage facilities and no access roads.
“I want to encourage more consumption of fish because fish is a high-protein, low-fat food that provides a range of health benefits, white-fleshed fish variety in particular, is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein.
“Oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, or the “good” fats, the human body can’t make significant amounts of these essential nutrients, fish should an important part of the diet,” he said.
Ogbaru is an agrarian riverine council area with all its 16 communities on the bank of River Niger.