Miss Augustina Oyebadejo, a final year student of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture Technology of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA has emerged one of the two winners of the 2021 Women in Aquaculture Global Scholarship Programme.
Oyebadejo joins Marta Carvalho from Portugal as the joint winners from nearly 200 applications from over 30 countries according to Kvarøy Arctic, the organizers of the programme, in a press release published by The Fish Site. The organizers say Oyebadejo and Carvalho will get funding for a specific project to be domiciled in their countries of origin as well as opportunity for working visit to Fish farm sites in Norway.
“Hosted in partnership with Seafood and Gender Equality (SAGE), the Women in Aquaculture scholarship programme seeks to uplift emerging leaders through its immersive, experiential program which includes fund to each recipient and a hands-on opportunity to experience working at Kvarøy Arctic’s farm sites in Norway. These scholarships are one small way to bring valuable, creative young women into the fold and show them that they are supported, not overlooked and ignored,” says Kvarøy Arctic strategic development officer Jennifer Bushman. “We want to acknowledge all of the amazing applicants. All of them are deserving of every chance to pursue and achieve their dreams. We are better for their efforts and grateful that they are on this journey with us,” the organisers said.
It is interesting to note that Oyebadejo competed with several others with higher degrees. Carvalho, the other winner is a native of Porto, Portugal and has pursued various degrees with the support of a variety of scholarship programs. She holds both a BSc and an MSc in aquatic sciences from the University of Porto and is currently pursuing her PhD in sustainable aquaculture and marine ecosystems at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Kvaroy Arctic noted that Oyebadejo was acquainted with fishing and the concept of aquaculture in her upbringing in the coastal town of Badagry, Nigeria, near Lagos. She witnessed the difficulty of the profession in an area where wild fishing harvests are limited, aquaculture operations are cost-prohibitive, and professional opportunities for women are scarce.
“Nigeria has a domestic production of fish at about 800,000 tonnes and is known to be one of the largest importers of fish in the world, yet we cannot meet the demand of the population,” says Oyebadejo, whose family has been supporting her education in the field. “This scholarship will help me with practical skills and knowledge of efficient fish production. I think this is a way to build aquaculture in my country and influence the economy positively while saving a lot of lives.”
Oyebadejo is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Technology in Fisheries and Aquaculture Technology at the Federal University of Technology, Akure. She is experienced in all stages of the fish lifecycle – from hatchery management to harvesting and sales. Her long-term goal is to set-up a training centre in her community so she can mentor other young girls and women.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape has congratulated Miss Oyebadejo on attaining this great feat and described FUTA as a leading university with worthy and cerebral staff and students capable of competing with their contemporaries across the globe.
* With additional reports and materials from The Fish Site.