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Farmers say N2.5b fish dam will boost food production, tourism in Nasarawa

Mr Retson Tedheke

The Nigerian Farmers Co-operatives Society has said that the N2.5 billion fish dam being constructed in Kokona Local Government of Nasarawa State would boost food production and shore up Nigeria’s tourism potential.

Mr Retson Tedheke, National Coordinator of the group, made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Kokona, shortly after a facility tour of the farm and the fish dam by Gov Abdullahi Sule.

Tedheke said that the construction of the dam was conceived by his group, who envisaged a massive employment of Nigerians in the proposed fish farm.

“The project has massive potential for food and tourism; if we can develop our tourism sector, we shall get part of the monies taken to Dubai and other countries for tourism.

“Nasarawa State is unique in the sense that it is just about an hour’s drive from the Federal Capital Territory

“The state is also situated in north-central Nigeria and is accessible. When a potential tourist embarks on a journey from Lagos by air, on arrival in Abuja, he can move straight to the farm after his business transactions and return to Lagos same Day.

“The same thing is applicable to tourists from the United Kingdom. They can arrive Nasarawa State in the evening and leave the next morning.

“After putting the factors into consideration, in addition to the massive land mass and the potential in Nasarawa State, we discovered that the land, if properly utilised, can empower the people.”

He explained that the dam would have an expansive waterway with its five kilometres stream that runs all year round, as the stream does not reduce in its water holding capacity.

“Formerly, the stream operates with rains, when the rain goes, the water vanishes.

“Following our decision to construct the dam, we also developed the capacity to release the water during the rains, as well as the capacity to hold the water all year round with 500 million cubic liters of water.”

He revealed that the dam had the capacity for 5 million fishes all year round.

He indicated that apart from fishery and tourism, the pond would afford herdsmen the opportunity to bring their cows to the bank of the Dam stream to feed and drink water.

“The dam shall serve as their source of water supply, especially during the dry season.”

He said that the co-operative group had employed so many herdsmen as security staff and members of their work staff.

“The dam will also serve as a source of water supply to communities around the farm. It will also be used for irrigation to water about 50 acres of land all year round for vegetables farming.”

Tedheke said that the dam, when completed within few months, shall become a tourist attraction for people from all over the country and the world.

“It is in line with this that we have started to build a resort along the way. We are also building chalets of single units around the waterways.

“In addition, there will be boats. Tourists can cruise in speed boats within the five kilometer stretch of the stream (dam) as fishermen will be on hand with roasted fish delicacy.”

He said that the Ministry of Agriculture had given the nod to construct the dam, adding that electricity would be powered by the co-operative.

“The road leading to the dam is being run by the co-operative, but we need government support to ensure that the dam is functional.”

He assured the governor that the dam would speedily be constructed and be inaugurated this year, urging Nigerians to remain careful and calm as COVID-19 pandemic would soon give way to a mass of activities in the agricultural sector.

“If we keep to the rules and regulations of COVID-19, the pandemic will fizzle out soon,” he said. (NAN)

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