Aquaculture for all

Fish farming now favoured over poultry

NIGERIA - In Nigeria an increasing number of people are turning towards fish farming while poultry production seems to be in decline.

Until recently, fish farming was hitherto considered an impossible venture. Great numbers of people are much familiar with poultry farming and so endeared to it, that hardly can you find an average home without poultry either for domestic consumption or commercial purpose.

"A friend who was the Director of fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture came here, looked at this place and said you can do fishery here. You can build a pond." And that was enough to drive Mr S O Ogundare, a retired civil servant, chartered Accountant and Secretary, to take the initiative and start fish farming. He now produces fingerlings.

Time and events have changed the trend and more people are gradually venturing into fish farming with enthusiasm.

Elder S.O.Ogundare, whose fish ponds are situated in his compound at Piwoyi, along Airport road, tsays that the shift from poultry to fish ponds can be view on two grounds.

He explains, "Eating fish, eating meat, eating birds, all are to supply protein, but it's been discovered that when you eat meat, you run the risk of increasing cholesterol in your body. Very many people are now becoming aware of the risk of cholesterol and diabetes, therefore, they are eating less of things that will give them cholesterol. So people now feel it is better to eat fish, because people eating fish look better. That's on health grounds.

Secondly, the emergence of avian influenza, otherwise known as bird flu, provides another support. It is another health hazard and accounts for the shift to fish farming as well. So everything is in support of growing and eating more fish."

He said though he has just started and is much more into fingerling production, but believes that the business is quite good. "Our target is to produce fish seeds that will grow for people, and to speed off the production of fish in the North here."

At Omo farm which is located at the suburbs of Kuje town, the reporter came across possibly one of the biggest fish ponds in the FCT, as expressed by the guide.

The fishery manager, Mr Orioshola Odekunle, tells the reporter that they have a total of twenty eight grower's ponds and nursery ponds, where they raised the fingerlings to sub-adult stages before transferring them to the grower's ponds.


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