To combat unemployment, ECOWAS teaches aquaculture to young people in the FCT

To combat unemployment, ECOWAS teaches aquaculture to young people in the FCTTo combat unemployment in the nation, the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have partnered to train young people in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in aquaculture.

It was also mentioned that the training's objective was to guarantee that the kids have the necessary tools to effectively contribute to the country's economic progress.

Speaking to reporters during the training in Abuja, Dr. Charity Obetta, the acting head of the department responsible for fisheries and aquaculture at the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), mentioned that Nigeria was in the forefront of aquaculture when compared to other nations in West Africa.

According to Obetta, who was also the National Center of Specialization in Aquaculture (NCOS) Coordinator, the training will increase the supply of fish and lower youth unemployment in the nation.

"We are looking at areas where we can help the youths to increase fish production so that we can stop spending money on importation," the speaker stated, referring to the large amount of money Nigeria spends on imported fish.

"ECOWAS gave us the task of training 100 young people, but more people were interested due to the significance of the program. We had no idea what to do, but this time, with the help of AFCN, we are able to train up to 130 youths.

She clarified that through the funding cooperation with ARCN, the training was a part of the ECOWAS initiative and strategy towards youth capacity building in the food value chain systems.

She said, "Nigeria's ARCN and ECOWAS worked together to establish nine centers of expertise some time ago. Each nation was assigned a commodity based on its unique qualities. Ghana, for instance, uses its strength—roots and tubers—to handle these.

Nigeria was given the task of managing aquaculture, while Mali handles rice and Niger handles lactose. We anticipate that, in due course, Nigeria—which currently leads West Africa in aquaculture—will move to become the regional center of excellence in specialized for aquaculture. Thus, ECOWAS is genuinely operating throughout the entirety of West Africa.

While praising ECOWAS, one of the recipients, Miss Simi Rose Alamba, mentioned that the training had increased her understanding of fish production, processing, and other technology.

"Nigerian fish production is not meeting consumer demand," the statement read. Therefore, increased fish production is necessary to lower the rate of importation, which is eating up a large portion of our budgets because of the increase in exchange rates.

Nigeria is one of the centers of specialization for teaching the youth, according to Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof. Garba Hamidu, who was speaking on behalf of Director of the Plant Resources Department, Dr. Oluwafemi Salako.

"There is a severe need for a high level of youth in Nigeria," he declared. Additionally, this training will enable them to apply their abilities in the agricultural sector, eventually contributing to food security.


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