Nigeria, Cameroon and Sierra Leone in fishing projects

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Nigeria Fishing Projects

Three West and Central African countries on Saturday agreed to implement two competitive projects on fisheries and aquaculture for a three-year period starting from January 2012.

After meeting for three days in the Sierra Leonean capital, 40 representatives from the National Agricultural Research Systems agreed on “poverty eradication and grassroots empowerment through sustainable integrated rice and piggery production and sustainable integrated pond based acquaculture” which will be undertaken simultaneously in the three States.

Each of the projects will cost 500,000 US dollars funded through the West and Central Council for Agricultural Research and Development (Coraf/Wecard).

Launching the projects, Sierra Leone’s Fisheries and Marine Minister Soccoh Kabia said they “will go a long way in meeting the ever increasing demand for fish and fishery products especially for non-coastal communities”.

“Sierra Leone currently relies heavily on coastal fisheries for the supply of fish to its market as well as a source of revenue and employment,” the minister said adding that “marine fish stocks have been exploited by a variety of small-scale fishing units along with industrial trawlers for over 40 years.”

Alfred Dixon, director-general of the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute, said “one of the major causes of malnutrition in the West and Central African subregion is the inadequate intake of animal protein”.

According to conference statistics, the subsector of fisheries and aquaculture contributes three percent to regional GDP, making fish the leading export product with annual revenues at 2.7 billion dollars.

In 2008, fish production in the West and Central African subregion was estimated at 2,815,649 tonnes.

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