By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
The Tilapia Aquaculture Developers Association of Nigeria (TADAN), on Monday, August 10, 2020 inaugurated a six man executive committee as interim officials to pilot the affairs of the association at this early stage. They are to create a clear objective and catalyze the growth of improved Tilapia production in Anambra state.
This took place at the Anambra State Fisheries and Aquaculture Business Development Agency *(FABDA)* Boardroom, Government House Awka.
The stakeholders unanimously elected the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Anambra State Fisheries and Aquaculture Business Development Agency *(FABDA), Mr. Emeka Iloghalu (founder of the TeeMartins Aquaculture Group) as the interim Chairman and Mr. Gabriel Muoneke of Eze Azu farms Nteje as vice chairman.
Anthony Odili of Chinyere Agro Industrial Farms Ltd, General Secretary, Innocent Okeke, Publicity Secretary, Anochie Chigozie of Gozanbee Farms Umunachi, Financial Secretary and Onwuazombe Somadina of Aqua Heritage Farms who emerged as the Welfare Officer.
Inaugurating the officials, the National President of TADAN, Dr. Remi Ahmed, represented by the Association’s vice president, Mr. Nurudeen Tiamiyu charged the excos to focus on advancing objective and visible growth of Tilapia Aquaculture in Anambra state.
He noted that TADAN is positioned to develop and grow Tilapia Aquaculture in the country and beyond and sustain it.
“Our direction”, according to him, “is to put Nigeria Tilapia production on the global map and today, Anambra state has joined the list of about ten already inaugurated TADAN chapters in Nigeria.
“The idea behind what we are doing is to teach our (Tilapia Fish) producers what they need to know through training at both local and international levels” he said.
On his part, the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Anambra state, Mr Primius Odili while congratulating the new officers said the state government is more interested in agriculture, especially fish farming.
Odili who pointed out that earlier before now, he was a bit skeptical about rearing Tilapia, said that the state is willing to compete favourably with the world in the production of Tilapia and other fish species.
“Our people have neglected fish farming for so long a time but I’m optimistic that the state can key in properly with the modern technology in Tilapia production.
“Farming is for everybody and we should embrace it and that is why we encourage people to start something no matter how small. This is the main reason government recently launched what it called Ugbo Azuno which aims at providing alternative means of livelihood especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. We are launching operation feed Anambra to help salvage the situation”.
The Chief of staff who was appointed patron of TADAN Anambra state chapter said he is not unaware of some challenges confronting farmers globally but enjoined TADAN members in the state to form cooperatives for easy accessibility of funds and promised to make arrangement for off takers once the farmers can guarantee consistency, growth and sustainability.
The new chairman, Mr. Emeka Iloghalu in his acceptance speech, said the officials will do their best to represent TADAN very well in the state and as well grow the GDP of Tilapia FIsh in Anambra state and beyond.
Iloghalu in his earlier presentation disclosed that FABDA was created to grow the economy of the Fisheries and Aquaculture sector in the state for food and for wealth creation in the state.
He noted that the vision of the Governor in creating the Agency is to be the most visible and largest fish producing state in West Africa, adding that the state is determined to use the special technology to grow Tilapia and other fish species in the state.