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The Nigerian Aquaculture Plan Gets Going

by the Fish Site Editor
31 October 2008, at 12:00am

NIGERIA - Operators in the aquaculture industry may soon have cause to smile as a policy aimed at shaping the direction of development in the industry is underway.National president of Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN), Tayo Akingbolagun, told Real Sector that the policy, which will soon be ready, is expected to show the growth path for the industry.

The Nigerian aquaculture industry, driven mainly by catfish farming, is seen as the fastest growing sub-sector in the Nigerian fish industry. And more and more young players are going into the business each day, yet they are unable to meet the national demand for fish, reports BusinessDayOnline.

We are told that Nigeria has a population of about 120 million. The national requirement is about two million metric tons per annum, but we are currently producing about 500,000 metric tons per annum derived from aquaculture and catfish farming, artisenal and industrial fishing.

There is a lot of potential in aquaculture because the industrial and artisenal catches are declining. So, the new direction is toward aquaculture and this is a global trend, notes the CAFAN president.

According to BusinessDayOnline, the only way of preserving fish in Nigeria remains smoking.

There is tremendous opportunity in processing. But as of today, the only processing we do here is fish smoking. Virtually every tribe in the country eats smoked fish. So market for smoked fish is available locally.

Personally, l feel we should be able to satisfy the local market first before we go into export, he said.

The current global economic and financial crisis has however sent jitters to the industry. The fear is that the rapid growth of the industry may be affected in the not too distant future.

the Fish Site Editor