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Lack of fish market stalls fish farming in Zamfara

by Ellen Hardy
18 December 2007, at 12:00am

NIGERIA - People are sceptical in embarking on fish farming in Zamfara state because there are no big hotels, restaurants or fish merchants that can buy the fish in bulk, a fish farmer, Alhaji Isa Na-Allah had said.

Alhaji Na-Allah said the state government is supporting the development of fish farming in the state by providing loan to fish farmers, but lack of ready market for the fish is discouraging farmers.

He said fish farming requires some technicalities adding that the government has provided some extension workers to provide the required expertise needed by the farmers.

"One funny thing about fish farming is that you don't just go and dig a ditch and expect to rear fish inside. All of them may end up dieing prematurely. You need assistance from experts to test the soil, the water and even the environment to be sure they are conducive

"We have enough experts provided by the state. They always go round to attend to our problems. They give us expertise advice and guidance. It is an interesting thing to do," he said.

However, Governor Mahmuda Aliyu Shinkafi said the state has concluded arrangements for the proper take off of the state fish farming project which he said will address all the salient problems associated with the project.

The governor who was addressing farmers through his deputy at Talata Mafara recently, said construction work on the state pilot fish farms project under the new water re-circling system has reached advanced stage.

He said the project which is being built within the premises of the state ministry of agriculture in Gusau the state capital, will serve as a referral center for all interested fish farmers in the state.

He said when completed, the project will provide a means of mass production of fish for local consumption within the state.

He said the massive production of fish in the state will reduce over dependence on beef which he said is less important to the body compared to fish.

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Ellen Hardy