ECOWAS, Anambra Agency, Others Partner to Empower 150 Youths on Fish Production

By Jude Atupulazi

The Anambra State Fishery and Aquaculture Business and Development Agency, FABDA, in a collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Commission, has concluded arrangements to train 150 youths in the state as a part of ECOWAS’ strategy for youth employability in Agriculture and Food Sector.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, FABDA, Mr Emeka Iloghalu, stated this while briefing newsmen shortly after an inaugural meeting between the agency and the participating youths held at the agency’s headquarters in Awka recently.

According to the Managing Director, the other partners in the programme, which will last eight weeks, include the Fishery and Aquaculture Value Chain Development Centre, Anambra State, which coordinates the project; Anambra State Polytechnic, Mgbakwu, whose facility will be used; the Table Fish Cooperative Society of the state, which will provide the knowledge, and T Martins ICT Limited, a technical company that works with the cooperative society to franchize peculiar technology for innovation and invention.

‘The programme is ECOWAS’ grant that is implementing training of 150 youths in table fish production business as a part of ECOWAS’ Regional Strategy in Youth Employability in Agriculture and Food Sector.

‘The value of the grant is 58,768 US Dollars. This grant has guidelines – there will be no equipment activities or procurement. It is purely training,’ Mr Iloghalu said.

He stated that FABDA selected the participants using different interest groups such as Anambra State Association of Town Unions, Youth Wing, among others.

‘We approached them and got the right participants; when we verified them, we selected those within the ages of 15 and 35 years.

‘So, in the coming weeks, we are taking them to the Anambra State Polytechnic, Mgbakwu, to start the training proper,’ the FABDA boss disclosed.

He expressed the hope that the programme would produce viable youths for business in fish production in the state in line with Governor Chukwuma Soludo’s vision of creating 1,000 youth millionaires annually.

Noting that table fish business was a growing concern, Iloghalu added that FABDA would create at least six fish cooperative societies after the training to expand fish production in the state.