Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has called on investors to tap the potential in the aquaculture value chain to bridge the demand and supply gap of the state.
He said that investment in aquaculture value chain would not only create jobs and contribute to poverty reduction but would also unleash opportunities for entrepreneurship.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, said that to attain the goal, the state government had initiated several projects in the agricultural space.
He identified sustainable development of tourism potentials in aquaculture and its value chain as a driver for economic growth in the state.
He said that increased production in aquaculture value chain would help attain food security objective, foreign exchange earnings from export and ultimately contribute to the growth of the state’s GDP.
According to him, bridging the demand and supply gap, which is estimated at 374,000 tonnes per annum and 155,262 tonnes per annum, respectively, was a huge and highly rewarding investment opportunity.
“I invite the business community to tap into and harness the fish value chain.
“We have established fish farm estates in lkorodu and Epe to ensure a geometrical increase in fish production, with the active participation of the private sector.
“The Ikorodu estate is fully subscribed and produces 10,000 tons of fish per annum, the Ketu Ereyun Epe estate will produce 11,000 metric tons of fish on completion of its first phase.
“All of these initiatives are aimed at bridging the demand and supply gap.
“This is a highly rewarding investment opportunity, which I invite the business community to tap into,’’ he said.
According to him, the state is endowed with natural landscape traversed by sea and lagoon waters, beautiful beaches and waterfronts.
“Twenty-two per cent of the land area in the state is covered with water and a long coastline along the Atlantic Ocean.
“These unique endowments give the state a comparative advantage in seafood and tourism business, which are yearning to be developed for the socio-economic transformation of the state.
“I urge you all to avail yourselves the opportunities presented by this gathering to network and initiate partnerships that will promote food security, create jobs and enhance livelihoods in the state,’’ Sanwo-Olu said.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Gbolahan Lawal, said the celebration of the seafood festival would boost the development of the creative industry and promote the visibility of the state as a tourist destination.
“In accordance with the theme of this year’s festival, the rich seafood diversity of the state will be projected through the display of various fresh, processed and wide varieties of seafood-based dishes by our exhibitors.
“This is strengthened by the fact that fishing is the main occupation of the people living in the coastal zones,’’ the commissioner said.