The Edo Government said on Monday that it had registered 768 fish farmers to enable them a loan scheme under the ECOWAS Fund Accelerated Fishery Development Project.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr. Abdul Oroh, said this in Benin.

”A total of 768 fish farmers, fishermen, and fish distributors operating as cooperative societies have been registered with the department of fisheries to access the loan.

”They, however, had yet to access the loan due to inability to recover a previous disbursed. In pursuance of this, the ministry is working through the state fisheries loan advisory committee (SFLAC) to recover the loans.

”The committee has been involved in aggressive loan recovery so that those recently registered by government can access this facility in the expanded second phase of the project,” Oroh said.

He said that the project was being managed under a tripartite arrangement involving the ECOWAS, the federal and state governments.

Oroh said that the fund, which is domiciled at the Bank of Agriculture, was designed to improve fish production in the state.

According to him, the project has moved into its second phase with the payment of the 2011 counterpart fund contribution by the state government.

The commissioner expressed the commitment of the ministry to continue to boost agricultural development in the state through extension services and research.

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