Blue Economy: CGE vows to empower more women in coastal fishing, aquaculture

By Charles Okonji

As part of efforts geared towards lifting more women out of poverty and creating multimillionaires in coastal fishing and aquaculture, the Centre for Gender Equality (CGE) Africa, has reaffirmed its continued support through training and empowering more women.
The Executive Director, CGE, Uchenna Idoko, disclosed this during her opening remarks at the 2024 Gender and The Blue Economy Conference to commemorate World Oceans Day in Lagos.
She noted that the event titled “Expanding the Horizons for Women in Fisheries and Aquaculture,” was to further integrate and and brainstorm with the stakeholders on policies that will encourage more women participation in the blue economy.
According to her, “We want to build women that will own multi-million naira fishing businesses and not just ₦7 million that will fizzle out with just a little challenge. We empower women to become.
“We know that women in coastal fishing face a lot of challenges due to climate change, and this limit, hence reduces their overall output as they are more vulnerable to climate related risks and uncertainties.”
On her part, Ms Mfon Archibong, Assistant Chief Fisheries Officer, Federal Ministry of Blue Economy, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, noted that awareness needs to be created in some coastal communities where women are not allowed to own land.
According to Mfon, women not having access to the coastal land is a very big set back to women participation in coastal fishing and aquaculture.
She noted that with the CGE initiative, such communities would be approached on how to secure coastal land for women in fishing activities.
Speaking at the occasion, Mrs Chinasa Asonye, CEO, Chinelo Farms, who doubles as the President of Fish Farmers in Lagos, noted that the association procures fish feed in bulk, adding that member are given the feed at a subsidised rate.
“We will continue to encourage women to embrace farming. We appreciate CGE for their empowerment and support,” she stressed.
Another fish farmer from Epe, Joy Onimeh, who represented Epe cluster, commended the Lagos State Government for its immense support for the women in agriculture.
She stated, “Lagos state has built large freezing facilities for us and we are very grateful. The climate change is a very big challenge to us, so we urge the Lagos State government and the Federal Government to do more, so that we can can engage in fish export.”

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