The co-op, which has over 40 members, met in a hotel in Abuja on 30 October, along with representatives of the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Youth Chamber of Commerce (NYCC), Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and Aller Aqua Nigeria Limited.
Mrs Hafsat Modibbo, chief regulatory officer with the agency, assured the co-op of the continued support of the agency to fish farmers and aquaculture in the country.
Dr Chekwube Ifeadi and Mr Bashir, a deputy director of the Veterinary Medicine and Allied Products directorate of the NAFDAC, acted as facilitators.
Dr Ifeadi trained the farmers on antibiotic use; the dangers of over-medicating fish and the adverse effects of not observing drug withdrawal periods, which can result in antimicrobial resistance and adverse effects on the health of both fish and humans.
Mr Bashir spoke of the NAFDAC’s inspection requirements in terms of setting up a feed mill and also touched on current trends in feed and feed processing. He cautioned the farmers on the dangers of using adulterated and low quality feed ingredients too.
He added that the Nigerian government had taken steps to ensure farmers could do business by introducing the micro small and medium scale enterprises (MSME) scheme, which makes it easier for new ventures to become established.
Dr Peter Ayim of the Youth Chamber of Commerce and Mr Okon Ofonima of the Agric Rural Development Secretariat of the Federal Capital Development Authority also assured the farmers of their support and commitment.
They stressed that fish farmers’ cooperative groups were key to exploiting the value chain and that they are willing to partner with farmers to establish new co-ops.
Dr Larry Obaje of the aquafeed company Aller Aqua Nigeria – which has been involved in the country since 2015 – assured the farmers of the firm’s continued commitment to the country’s fish farmers and the success of its aquaculture industry as a whole.