2nd Ogun Fish Fair: Exhibitors Lament Over Low Patronage - EDU-BIZNEWS


Monday, November 30, 2020

2nd Ogun Fish Fair: Exhibitors Lament Over Low Patronage

Exhibitors at the recent Second edition of the Ogun Fish Fair organized by the Ogun State Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OGUNCCIMA) have lamented over low patronage of buyers at the 5-day fair which ended over the weekend at the MKO Abiola Trade Fair Complex , Oke-mosan in Abeokuta, the state capital.

Edu-Biznews also observed low participation of exhibitors at the fair, as only few of the fish-sellers and processors were seen displaying either  fresh or processed fishes  at the venue of the fair till the last day of the exhibition, which is far below 50 local and foreign exhibitors projected by the organizers .

Some of the exhibitors including the General Secretary of the Ogun State Uplifted Traders Association,Mrs Taiwo Kazeem(JP) and Mr Olaide Badru, a representative of the Ipokia based, Oomik Fish Farmers Cluster Association Incorporated in a separate chat with Edu-Biznews complained of poor sales because of low turn-out of buyers at the fair .

Taiwo who is also the coordinator of Oluwadurotimi Fish Sellers Association,Ijebulawa in the Ijebu axis of the state, said amount expended on the logistics of moving her dried fishes to the fair complex out weighed daily sales.

Also speaking in the same vein, Badru of the Oomik Fish Farmers who deals in breeding and selling of fresh fishes, said the fair created opportunities for him to expand his network of customers and business associates for future transactions, despite low sales recorded during the fair.

They blamed the low patronage on the current situation in the nation's economy caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and the recent #EndSARS protests which is affecting most companies as well as Nigerians who are struggling to survive.  

Meanwhile the Ogun State Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment has promised to continue to facilitate access to capital and work with relevant agencies to build capacity of entrepreneurs in the fish value-chain, to address the 3.5 million metric tonnes deficit the country is currently experiencing.

The State Commissioner in the Ministry,  Mrs. Kikelomo Longe  made this pledge while declaring open the  Fish Fair with the theme; "the relevance of Fish production and processing in increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and alleviating unemployment in Nigeria" .

Mrs. Longe said the Ministry would continue to support entrepreneurs in the fish value-chain, to ensure the country exceeds its current 1.1 million metric tonnes of fish production, stressing that the output of the country's 12 million farmers has to be improved as part of efforts to guarantee food sufficiency.

"The Ministry would continue to improve the business environment to support more fish farmers and entrepreneurs, so as to ensure the 3.5 million metric tonnes fish deficit is addressed", she said.

Mrs. Longe added that more entrepreneurs in the fish value-chain needed to embrace processing, stating that it would further enhance the worth of their produce, as well as increase the product life.

The Commissioner urged entrepreneurs to take advantage of the State Government-Bank of Industry (BOI) loan, which is available at single digit interest rate to boost their fish farming and processing business.

She called on Nigerians to continue to consume food produced in the country, adding that this would help create more jobs, alleviate poverty, strengthen the naira and help the economy recover faster from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina, represented by the Director of Fisheries Services in the Ministry, Mrs. Victoria Ojelade, said the State as the foremost fish producer in West Africa, her fish value-chain should be well harnessed.

 Welcoming the exhibitors, the President OGUNCCIMA, Alhaji Wasiu Olaleye had explained that the second edition of the Fish Fair in the State was organised to be a catalyst for economic growth.

He stressed that investing in local production of fish would address the loss of billions of dollars spent yearly on importation of fish produce and curb unemployment, as well as eradicate poverty.


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