The seafood industry in Lagos State is on the rise and becoming a big economic and job creation driver in the agriculture value chain. As a result, there is a move by the government to promote distance water fishing by empowering individuals to invest in the trawler business. This move is in view of achieving its goal of self-sufficiency in food production form 15 per cent to 25 per cent by 2030.
MSMEsToday had earlier reported that fish and seafood importation into the country in the next ten years is projected to gulp $2.59 million which is equivalent to N1.29 billion using average. This is based on our analysis of the statistical data provided by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Food and Agriculture.
The Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, has emphasized the importance of expanding the seafood sub-sector in Lagos state to international markets to ensure long-term growth and the creation of more jobs within the state. With this in mind, the state is working on employing deep-sea trawling to capture bigger fish in the deeper seas in Lagos. According to Hamzat, this and other interventions, including the involvement of close to 10,000 youths in the five divisions of the state would benefit in form of new jobs. The reason for this investment is because of the increase in demand for deep seawater products, and the state, as one of the nation’s largest seafood exporter is willing and ready to support more firms to participate at this level of the fishing business.
In addition, Hamzat said that Lagos is about to launch a multi-million Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (LACE) to provide for the fast-growing sector that already exports a large position of its output. He added that the current supply of seafood products in the state was insufficient to meet the demands, therefore, there is a need to have a private sector driven aquaculture centre. The project includes the establishment of a 50-million fish hatchery facility, a production schedule of about 2000 tonnes per annum of table sized fish, 24000 tonnes per annum of fish feed mill and a 20000 tonnes per annum fish and seafood processing centre.