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Governor Inuwa Yahaya's Vision to Unlock Gombe's Aquaculture Potential Gains Momentum with Moroccan Partnership

By Abdulwahab Muhammad, Bauchí 

Gombe State Government is to leverage the technical expertise and resources of the Moroccan National Agency for the Development of Aquaculture (ANDA) to
fully harness the potential of its water bodies in order to create job opportunities and stimulate economic growth.  

This came to the fore when Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya,  CON led a delegation on a bilateral meeting with ANDA officials in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, during which the two parties agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ensure effective collaboration in the aquaculture sector. 

During the meeting, Governor Inuwa Yahaya highlighted the rich natural resources of Gombe State,  pointing to key water bodies such as Dadin Kowa Dam, Balanga Dam and Cham Dam as ideal sites for fish farming and other aquaculture activities.

He explained Gombe state's ambitious plans to unlock the potential of its water bodies, outlining a comprehensive strategy that includes the development of fish farms, support for local fishermen and the promotion of sustainable aquaculture practices aimed at ensuring food security, creating job opportunities for the teeming populace and boosting the economy of the state.

"As part of efforts to develop fish farming, we intend to establish several fish farms across Dadin Kowa, Balanga and Cham Dams. These facilities will utilize modern aquaculture techniques to enhance fish production and meet the growing demand for fish, targeting not only the states in the Northeast, but other West African countries neighboring the Northeast such as Cameroun, Chad and Niger Republics. We would support the local fishermen through training programmes, provision of fishing equipment and financial assistance. This support will enable fishermen to adopt best practices and increase their productivity", the Governor further said.

He sought the support of the Moroccan government in his administration's effort to develop aquaculture infrastructure, such as hatcheries, processing facilities, and cold storage units which will stimulate economic growth and attract investment to the state in the sector.

The Governor also requested technical assistance and training from ANDA to build the capacity of aquaculture practitioners in Gombe state, proposing an exchange programme to facilitate skill development and knowledge transfer between Moroccan experts and fish farmers in Gombe state. 

He also expressed interest in collaborative research projects involving Gombe State University (GSU) and other relevant institutions in Morocco to explore innovative aquaculture techniques adaptable to the local context in Gombe, hoping that this partnership will improve the sector in the state.

He reaffirmed Gombe state’s commitment to adopting sustainable aquaculture practices aligned with global standards and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and as equally encapsulated in the state’s 10-Year Development Plan (DEVAGOM) which aims to foster economic development while ensuring environmental sustainability. 

Earlier in a detailed presentation, the Director of the National Agency for the Development of Aquaculture (ANDA), Mr. Mustafa, highlighted the agency's willingness to collaborate with Gombe State to facilitate fishery trade and ensure the successful establishment of fishery projects, guiding the investors through the initial production cycles and beyond.

 He emphasized that the interest shown by the Gombe State government in the aquaculture sector is timely, given the strong market demand for aquaculture products.

The ANDA boss noted that with the right support and collaboration, the aquaculture industry in Gombe State can significantly contribute to the local economy, create jobs, and meet the growing market needs.

There was a question and answer session,  during which members of the delegation sought clarification on some areas of interest.

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