Seafood festival: Lagos to project potential to local, international markets

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GBOLAHAN Lawal, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, says the government is set to host the 2019 Seafood Festival, with a view to projecting the aquaculture and seafood potential to local and international markets.

Lawal, who made the announcement on Monday, at a news briefing to unveil the 2019 festival, said the festival would hold on Dec. 22, at the Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the theme of the festival is: “Celebrating the Seafood Diversity of Lagos State”.

He said the event was being organised by the state government, in collaboration with Sirocco Productions Limited.

Lawal said that fishermen from Badagry, Epe, Makoko, Ilaje, Amuwo, Ikorodu, Ikate and other parts of the state would sell, market, network and interact.

According to him, the festival was last held in 2014, during former Gov. Babatunde Fashola’s administration and is being revived by the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

“Before I left this ministry, our food production in Lagos state was less than 10 per cent and now the production level has risen to 20 per cent of food security.

“In terms of food self-sufficiency, as at 2018, our food self-sufficiency level is 18 per cent. We don’t have the record for 2019 yet.

“Our target in our roadmap is 25 per cent by 2025.

“We have a roadmap that will contain all our programmes and detailed analysis on how we plan to implement, who is responsible for what and where we also plan to get to and our target is to get to 40 per cent self-sufficiency, “ he said.

Lawal said the festival would also project the state’s diverse seafood resources and bring to the fore, its immense potential and inherent investment opportunities.

He said the programme would also feature various local and exotic seafood dishes for the enjoyment of all guests and participants.

According to him, preparations have been concluded to ensure that the festival is a huge success.

“As you are well aware, Lagos State is a maritime State with a coastline of about 180km along the Atlantic Ocean and a vast network of lagoons, creeks, rivers and estuaries.

“It accounts for 22 per cent of its 3,577 KM2 land area and has fishing and supporting activities as the predominant occupation of the people living in the coastal and estuarine areas of the state.

“The aim is to showcase Lagos state aquaculture and seafood potentials to the local and international markets as well as stimulate the growth of entertainment and tourism in the state, “he said.

Lawal said that with a population of over 22 million persons, the state requires at least 374,000 tons of fish per annum, compared to a domestic fish production of 155,262 tons per annum.

According to him, tourism, culture and entertainment are fundamental activities in the state, with the potential of boosting the creative economy of the state.

He said they could also make it a tourist destination, for both local and international tourists when fully developed.

“Other objectives of the Lagos State Seafood Festival include: developing networking or linkages among stakeholders; sharing knowledge and technology used in the industry.

“Other objectives are:  exchange of information on products and services available in the global market; and creating jobs as fresh investments are attracted into the fisheries subsector, “Lawal said.

He said that the seafood festival would also impact on the state as there would be increased tourism activities.

Lawal said there would also be increased consumption of various fish-based culinary services available in the state, as well as ease of marketing for locally produced or processed fish.

Lawal said the festival would be a celebration of the state’s seafood products and services, featuring processed and fresh seafood, entertainment, music, culture, commerce, competitions and various cooking lessons.

NAN

– Dec. 16, 2019 @ 18:45 GMT |

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