Rivers to partner private investors to commercialise state-owned fish farms


`The Commissioner for Agriculture in Rivers, Mrs Onimim Jacks, has said that the government will collaborate with private investors to boost commercial fish farming in the state.

Jacks told newsmen in Port Harcourt on Thursday that fish farms established by the immediate past administration were mismanaged by contractors and failed to yield needed returns.

The commissioner said the state government had decided to disengage contractors handling fish farm projects in the state in order to make them productive.

She said the farms were mismanaged because the contractors were not given targets.

Jacks said, `` we want to know what the farms generate as income.’’

She said the state government was already talking with core investors in fish farming with the aim of making all state-owned fish farms commercially viable.

``We met a situation where contractors were not given any targets, they operated however they felt and the state was spending without getting needed returns.

``We decided not to continue with such situation, we cannot be spending and not get returns from our investment,’’ she said.

Jacks expressed the hope that private investors would take over the farms and make them commercially viable to the advantage of the state.

She said that the state-owned banana farm in Tai Local Government Area was fraught with litigation concerning land ownership and compensation.

``There are more than 40 cases in court concerning land ownership; some even went physically to disrupt operations.

``We are talking with the community people, we are sure that something positive will be realised soon,’’ Jacks said.

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