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November 3, 2008

 

Nigeria to implement policy for aquaculture growth

 
 

Operators in the aquaculture industry may soon be smiling away as a policy aimed at shaping the direction of development in the industry is in progress.

 

National president of Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN), Tayo Akingbolagun told Real Sector that the policy that will be released soon is expected to pave the growth 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. More young players are venturing into the business each day, yet they are unable to meet the national demand for fish, reports BusinessDayOnline.

 
Nigeria has a population of about 120 million. The national requirement is about two million tonnes per annum and the industry is currently producing about 500,000 tonnes per annum derived from aquaculture and catfish farming, artisanal and industrial fishing.
 
There is a lot of potential in aquaculture because the industrial and artisanal catches are declining, therefore the new direction is towards aquaculture and this is a global trend, notes the CAFAN president. The only way of preserving fish in Nigeria remains smoking.
 
There is tremendous opportunity in processing. But as of today, the only processing that is done in Nigerian is fish smoking. In this case, every tribe in the country eats smoked fish; therefore the market for smoked fish is locally available.
 
Tayo feels that the local markets needs to be satisfied first before thinking of venturing in exports.
 
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 near future.
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