Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau State has reiterated his administration’s commitment towards revitalising agriculture to tackle the challenges of food shortage and unemployment in Plateau.
Lalong, who was represented by his Senior Special Asistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Mark Longyen made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt.
He said that as part of efforts to boost the state’s internally generated revenue source, the once abandoned fish farm within one year of his administration was set to be repositioned for fish production.
Lalong said that the state had successfully engaged foreign partners to resuscitate the long neglected Panyam fish farm that was rated the largest fish farm in West Africa.
The governor said that Panyam Fish, when fully in operation, had the capacity to produce as much as 4.9 metric tons of fish and 10 million fingerlings annually.
Lalong further established that if the fish farm ”goes into full operation, it will also generate a revenue of about N1.7 billion annually to the state.
“The Panyam fish farm is a state government farm, it was established 65 years ago by the colonial masters, the farm was reputed to be the largest fish farm in West Africa.
“Unfortunately, Panyam fish farm suffered neglect by past governments until my administration found it necessary to explore its economic potentials to boost our revenue base.
“Last week, we succeeded in signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SOBARC Ltd, a private firm to revive Panyam fish farm in order to boost fish production in the state.
“We are determined to support the federal government’s diversification policy aimed at repositioning the agriculture sector to tackle the challenges of a dwindling economy due to recent drop in crude oil price,” he said.
The governor said his administration would also revive over 1,000 mining ponds that have been abandoned by previous administrations.
He explained that the state had in the past served as the centre for tin mining in the country and frowned at the level of neglect on mining business by the government.
Lalong said that his administration’s focus remained on totally repositioning agriculture sector to contribute to food sufficiency and foreign earning in the country. (NAN)