The University of Ibadan (UI) in collaboration with other partners has organised a workshop aimed at promoting sustainable aquaculture and best management practices in the Nigerian Catfish and Tilapia industries.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop entitled: “Improving Biosecurity: A Science-based Approach to Manage Fish Disease Risks and Increase the Socioeconomic Contribution of the Nigerian Catfish and Tilapia Industries”.
NAN reports that the project was funded by USAID, hosted by the University of Ibadan and the International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM), also known as WorldFish, Malaysia and Mississippi State University, USA.
Addressing the participants, Prof. Olanike Adeyemo, Principal Investigator of one of the USAID-funded projects, under Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish, said that the spate of growth of the Nigerian aquaculture industry in the last 15 years was unprecedented.
Adeyemo, represented by immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor of UI, said the project sites were in Ogun and Delta, being USAID priority states.
“We shall be presenting our findings while engaging stakeholders who are fish farmers, Veterinarians, Fish Biologists, industries, Government Ministries, Departments and parastatal Agencies (MDAs), policymakers, and media, among others.
“This is in a bid to develop homegrown Best Management Practices (BMP) for Nigerian Aquaculture Industry.
“We shall also be commencing the process of developing a befitting National Aquatic Animal Health and Biosecurity Strategy for implementation by competent authorities in this domain,” she said.
According to her, a major highlight of the workshop is the launching of the project’s legacy web platform named: “E-AquaHealth”.
Adeyemo said the platform would provide a network for stakeholders.
“It will also provide timely support to farmers regarding diagnostics support and linkage to verified aquatic veterinarians and other stakeholders within the value chain.
“On the platform are other extension resources for farmers and continuing education training opportunities for Veterinarians,” Adeyemo said.
One of the partners, Dr. Jerome Delamare-Deboutteville, also Co-Principal Investigator, WorldFish Malaysia, said the workshop was important to disseminate information to stakeholders collected through research.
“We have developed a number of materials for extension workers and students. We are working on advanced techniques for laboratory analysis for the collected samples.
“The goal is to create a network for veterinary experts from the two states and link them with scientists from UI and other experts outside Nigeria.
“This is to build capacity at the laboratory level and create a very strong cluster among farmers, leaders, and veterinarians,” he said.
Earlier, the UI Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, commended the project, saying that research was the core of the universities, in particular University of Ibadan, to proffer solutions to various problems in the country.
Adebowale decried the effect of the lingering ASUU strike, saying that it had negatively impacted on the nation’s education sector.
“The University of Ibadan is gradually moving to being a postgraduate university.
“This is an indication that you have lots of postgraduate students and our emphasis is going to be on cutting edge research that impact,” he said.
Also, Prof. Gabriel Ogundipe, the Head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the university, said that the project came at the right time to address aquaculture issues.
Ogundipe said that limited research was done in aquaculture, hence the inability of the industry to grow and boost economic development.
He said that the purpose of the workshop was to bridge the gap. (NAN)
Edited by Olagoke Olatoye