16 July 2012

Nigeria: Ministry to Boost Fish Production in Rivers, Bayelsa

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said on Monday in Abuja that plans were underway to boost fish production in Rivers and Bayelsa.

He said this when King Barnabas Bagia, Vice-President of the Ogoni Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers (OSCTR) led a delegation to his office.

Adesina explained that the ministry would invest seven million naira on fish production in the two states.

He assured them of the ministry's commitment to farmers in Ogoni land.

The minister urged the delegation to mobilise rural communities in Ogoni to get youths back to agriculture.

"We want youths to have access to land and farm inputs because the future of the Ogoni people is in agriculture. "

He noted that the ministry had concluded plans to distribute high-yielding cassava tubers to 20,000 farmers in the two states.

Adesina assured the visitors that the Ministry of Environment was working hard to end oil spillage and environmental degradation in Ogolni land.

Bagia observed that Ogoni people needed urgent intervention in the interrelationship between the environment and agriculture.

According to him, the activities of some oil companies had jeopardised the survival of the people, saying that the trend had made Ogoni land an endangered territory.

"Shell's high-pressure pipelines were constructed above ground through villages and these pipes have been in use for decades.

"Such over-aged pipes were laid over land which was once used for agricultural purposes.

"Though Shell pulled out of Ogoni land in 1993, the untold effects of the mess of the company left behind has been left un-addressed till now."

"Bagia said the people of the town were looking at how to survive through agriculture, urging the ministry to assist farmers through loans, farm inputs and equipment."

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