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Plans are at advanced stage for partnership between Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, and Bayelsa State government, to maximize the potentials of underutilized five hundred ponds capacity aquaculture center in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State. 

The Executive Director Projects, NDDC, Mr. Victor Antai who made this known after site inspection of the facility in Yenagoa Bayelsa State,  described the move as part of the efforts of the commission towards the realization of Mr President’s renewed hope agenda on food security. 

Sitting on one hundred and twenty seven hectares of land, the aquaculture village has 

Five hundred active earthen ponds of one thousand square metres each, with sixty currently in use, fully stocked with Tilapia and catfish, while four hundred and forty  are  functional  but not in  use. 

It has a fully integrated system with a feed mill, laboratory and hatchery. 

The facility also boasts of a dry chain  processing unit, fitted with thirty number three hundred kilograms capacity kiln for drying of fish before sales locally or export. 

Addressing journalists during inspection,  the Executive Director Projects EDP,  Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, Sir Victor Antai  expressed confidence that when  the facility became fully functional to maximum capacity, there would be enough fish for the region with extension to other parts of the country. 

Sir Antai who maintained that the drive was to adopt the center as part of project HOPE initiative, aimed at empowering youths in Agriculture, Technology and arts. 

The EDP said that youths of Niger Delta extraction would be selected, camped at the aquaculture village, trained and empowered to start their own. 

The Executive Director Project stated that there would be a tripartite  arrangement involving NDDC, Bayelsa State and the Operating entity. 

 On his part, the Managing Director of the Aquaculture village, Mr. Steve Okeleji who told Newsmen that over two thousand trainees have gone through the outfit, added that the center  was under utilized considering the facilities therein. 

Mr. Okeleji who explained that concentration was more on Tilapia which costs less to rear with high nutritional value, solicited collaboration from NDDC to increase productivity. 

The Managing Director of the aquaculture village expressed confidence that the center if well supported would not only create jobs, but would also enhance food security. 

With Over fishing taking over  most of the waters as observed by those in maritime sector, aquaculture may be the way out, to guarantee availability of fish varieties and reduce the cost in the market. 

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