In a move to promote sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Union (EU) have signed a €40 million deal.
The deal, which will kick off in 2020, is a five-year programme with focus on developing sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Group of states tagged FISH4ACP.
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The European Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella and the FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu signed the deal at the “Our Ocean 2019” conference in Oslo, Norway.
Speaking during the signing, Vella said that the areas of focus were on three aspects of sustainability which are the economic, the environmental and the social.
“It will enable us to strike a balance between production and protection, to contribute towards fair income distribution; to promote decent working conditions, sound fisheries management and social inclusiveness; and to champion sustainable aquaculture practices.,” the European Commissioner said.
Dongyu also commented on the collaboration, praising the new approach this is bringing to the fisheries and aquaculture sector.
“We welcome this new, comprehensive value chain approach to the development of fisheries and aquaculture that takes into account all players, at all stages – from net to plate. This is an innovative approach that will boost economic returns and social equity, and reduce negative impacts on the marine environment,” Dongyu said.
What this means: The programme will benefit fish farmers around Africa in inland and marine fisheries, involving catfish, small pelagics, oyster, shrimp and tilapia value chains from Nigeria to Zimbabwe, and from Lake Tanganyika to São Tomé and Príncipe and the continent’s Atlantic shores.
What you should know: The FISH4ACP is an innovative EU-funded programme, devised with Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific Group of states (ACP). It is to be implemented by the FAO. It would invest in value chains to stimulate inclusive growth, bolster food security and minimise impact on the marine environment.
Why this matters: This is a great avenue for Nigerian farmers to benefit from as fish farming is giving utmost priority in the country. Apart from producing enough fish to meet the nation’s demand, it can also be exported to other countries to be used as raw material in manufacturing industries for productions of glues, paints, medications and so on.