In its bid to enhance ppreservation of seafood in the country, the Nigeria Energy Forum (NEF) has inaugurated solar dryer and cold room for Langbasa and Sagbokoji fishing communities of Lagos.
In a speech at the event, the Business Coordinator of NEF, Mr Adebayo Adegoke, said the project was designed to help coastal communities in Lagos to improve their fishing activities.
According to him, research has shown that there is high level of post-harvest waste due to lack of preservation facilities..
Adegoke also said the programme would help the communities to preserve their fishes, maximise profit and reduce lost.
“Fishing is the economic mainstay in many coastal communities of Lagos and Nigeria only produces about 30 per cent of fish needed by her teeming population, thus creating a huge demand gap.
“Fish production is characterised by wastage due to inadequate preservation systems and unsustainable processing methods.
“Fish farmers in coastal areas, such as Sagbokoji and Langbasa, experienced huge post-harvest losses from the moment the fishes are caught till they get to the final consumers.
“This happened as a result of the lack of adequate fish processing and preservation facilities.
“But the provision of the solar cold room and dryers for the communities would encourage them in their fishery business,’’ he said.
“We will use the solar planets to power the cold room and dryer.
“We know that they don’t have access to the national grid and so it makes it easier to look for a solution that can be used off the national grid.
“The project is a pilot programme, which NEF intends to use to reach out to other communities outside Lagos soon,” Adegoke said.
He said the project was funded by Global Environmental Facility of UNDP, Institute of Fishery, Victoria Island.
Also speaking, Dr Abiodun Ayojesutomi, a lecturer at the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology, Lagos, said the facilities would help the communities in the preservation of their fishes.
Ayojesutomi said the problem in Nigeria was not production “but when there are no storage facilities, many of the things you produce are wasted.
“The importance of this initiative to fishermen and the fisher folds generally is that if they adopt this technology it will help them to store their products.
“The whole idea is to provide them with a storage facility so that the products can have extended shelf life,” she said.
Meanwhile, Chief Adesanya Muyideen, the Chairman, Fishermen Cooperative Association, Langbasa, said they were happy over the project.
Muyideen thanked the forum for coming to help fish farmers and promised that they would make adequate use of the facilities.
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