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Participation of Youth in Aquaculture

Adelodun OB

Aquaculture which deals mainly with the farming of fish has great potential and benefits that ranges from its nutritional purpose to economic benefits, contribution to food security, employment and income generation. As the natural fish stock declines due to over-exploitation, aquaculture has experienced spectacular growth in Nigeria recently. Despite this growth in the sector, fish supply is yet to meet the demand. i.e. as fish demand increases with increase in population, there is no sufficient increase in supply to meet up with the demand. This shows that more attention needs to be paid to this sector in terms of grants permission, improved technologies, orientation programs and also importantly, human resources for the sector to reach its maximum potential. However, it has been observed that youth involved in aquaculture are few, even as the rate of unemployment keeps increasing. This is as a result of some factors limiting their participation in the sector. To increase the involvement of the youth in the sector, some effective measures such as provision of loan scheme for graduates and school leavers, development of participatory programs and effective extension work need to be adopted. The participation of the youth in aquaculture will not only help the sector to reach its full potential but also contribute to the reduction of unemployment among the youth, as there are opportunities in the sector waiting to be tapped.