FG Launches NAAHS to Enhance Aquatic Animal Health, Improve Aquaculture


A new strategy, National Aquatic Animal Health Strategy for Nigeria (NAAHS) 2023-2027, has been launched by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS). NAAHS was launched to enhance effective delivery of aquatic animal health services and improve production, processing and marketing in the aquaculture sub sector.

At a program held recently in Abuja, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, spoke through the Director of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Dr. Ime Umoh, said the negative impact of aquatic pathogens, protect the health of human population and also help to boost the toughness of both marine and terrestrial ecosystems in the country.

He added that the plan will definitely promote international trade of aquatic animals such as aquaculture fish, shrimps, water snails and many more.

Furthermore, Dr. Umakhihe said that the development of a comprehensive aquatic animal health strategic plan will solve some, if not all of the challenges in the aquaculture sector and provide a roadmap for improved and safe fishery production and productivity in the country.

“The launch marks a significant milestone in the nation’s commitment to the well-being of our aquatic ecosystems, the prosperity of our aquatic industry and exploration of the great potentials of the industry towards food and nutritional security, he noted.’’

The Permanent Secretary applauded the efforts of Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services and its Developmental Partners like the Food and Agriculture Organization – Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (FAO-ECTAD), African Union-InterAfrican Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), ECOWAS-Regional Animal Health Centre (ECOWAS-RAHC), World Health Organization (WHO) for spearheading the development and validation of the National Aquatic Animal Health Strategy Plan, and urged the relevant stakeholders to welcome the strategy development plan, support, and actively participate in the implementation; in order to harness the potentials of aquatic resources for the benefit of all Nigerians.

In his welcome address, Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria and Director, Federal Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Dr Columba Vakuru said that the strategy will fast-track research and innovation in aquatic animal health, encourage Investment into new diagnostic tools, vaccines and treatments for aquatic diseases.

He revealed that these aquatic diseases can have severe consequences on our food and nutritional security, economy, public health, and the delicate balance of our aquatic ecosystems, adding that ‘’ by prioritising the health of our aquatic animals, we are safeguarding our economy, protecting public health, and preserving our natural heritage for future generations.”

Speaking on the Overview of the National Aquatic Animal Health Strategy (NAAHS), Staff of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan, Dr Gbolahan Oladosu said that NAAHS is made up of 15 programmes and 29 associated projects and activities that will be implemented over a period of five years (2023-2027), and the implementation plan will be revised and renewed at the end of the third year 2025.









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