Ebonyi State Commissioner for Agriculture, Chief Hon. Ogodo Ali Nomeh has bemoaned the non-availability of wholesalers to patronize producers of abundant fish in Ebonyi State.
Chief Nomeh lamented that Ebonyi State has abundant fish but lacked wholesalers who encourage the growth of the business in the area, urging the national body to introduce wholesalers to Ebonyi farmers as a way to boost the thriving industry.
He made the call while addressing Executive members of the National Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (NFAN) at Enugu Sports Club, Enugu State during the southeast Zonal National Workshop on Certified Fish Production and Processing.
He stated that fish being one of the most consumed agricultural produce has many farmers in Ebonyi State but the fish farmers lack wholesalers and that hinders the growth of the sector in the state.
He noted that the state government through his office has secured N3b for farmers who specialized in aquaculture, piggery and poultry farming.
He emphasized that the state government in its effort to stabilize food security has a lot of plans geared towards encouraging farmers to target between 1 to 2 million farmers that would benefit from the loan.
The agriculture commissioner pointed out that one of the conditions for accessing the loan would be to have wholesalers, revealing that there’s much money in Central Bank of Nigeria waiting for credible agricultural farmers which one of the criteria for meeting their needs is proper organizing of farmers, having a cooperative, and embarking on the cluster.
He promised to ensure that Ebonyi State fish farmers benefit from the loan and that while they give loan to genuine farmers, they would monitor the farm, whereby, they would show their farm and market to dispose of the items to ensure the loan is paid back.
Speaking on behalf of the Zonal president, the National Treasurer, Chief Chibundu Ubanwike frowned at Enugu State government for neglecting the programme despite huge resources invested in ensuring it is hosted in the state as South East regional headquarters but he lauded Ebonyi State government for the robust support and announced the relocation of the Zonal headquarters to Ebonyi State.
The national Vice President NFAN, Alhaji Usman Shetima, representative of the National President thanked the commissioner and Ebonyi State government for their interest in the promotion of agricultural business in the state.
Also Speaking, the national Vice President South East, Mr. Mbah Iheanacho noted that the essence of the workshop was to prepare the processors on the necessary information needed as they would soon kick off the trade.
In an interview, Ebonyi State NFAN chairman, Mr. Obaji Peter Ogbonnaya appreciated the state commissioner for making the state proud, assuring him of their continuous support of Umahi led administration.