On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, the management of the Durante Fish industries and other distinguished guests paid a courtesy visit to the headquarters of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).
IITA has been linked with the Durante Fish Industry which was responsible for the training of the IITA Youth Agripreneurs (IYA) – that led to the formation of the group’s fishery unit – and the resultant backstopping, but is now exploring the possibility of furthering its partnership with the aquaculture giants. IITA Youth Agripreneurs had earlier reflected through the strategic workplan in January to invest in Aquaculture as a means of advancing youth employment among young people especially unemployed graduates and enhancing income.
After a warm reception at the Conference Center, the visiting team made a tour to IYA’s fish ponds and some of the institute’s facilities. They expressed delight to see the progress made by the Agripreneurs in fisheries over the past couple of months. “If we have achieved this much in such a short time, then we are prepared to continue and expand this relationship,” said Chief Ogie Alakija, Chairman of Durante Fish Industries Limited.
The group has 4 active ponds stocked with over 20,000 fishes which by November would be harvested, while 9 more earthen ponds are under construction. According to Olaniyi Ajibola, the Coordinator of Fishery Unit of IYA, “we have realized that with little capital, young people can go into production and grow gradually.”
From the pond, a stop was made at the field where improved varieties of various crops were showcased and their post-harvest products displayed. The tour culminated in a visit to the institute’s Business Incubation Platform (BIP) – a model approach in boosting delivery of research results for enhanced impact across Africa.
IITA Youth Agripreneurs in its major goal of reorienting youths toward more productive engagement in agriculture continue to forge alliances with the private sector as the importance of private sector partnership cannot be overemphasized in scaling out the group’s model, while developing the capacity of the group.
Article written by Bekee Barituka