August 31, 2022


Nigeria expected to produce 2.5 million tonnes of aquaculture fish annually



Experts from the University of Stirling's Institute of Aquaculture (UK) used scenario analysis to determine how Nigeria can achieve its goal of producing 2.5 million tonnes of farmed fish annually, Fish Information & Services reported.


Fish is one of the most affordable sources of protein and already contributes significantly to feeding Nigeria's expanding population, but the country only produces about 300,000 tonnes of farmed fish annually. According to the researchers, the sector is frequently disregarded in favour of Nigeria's economy's mainstay, agriculture, and its main export, crude oil.


First, the researchers used stakeholder interviews to pinpoint four priority constraints: land use; policy intersection; cost and accessibility of fish feed; and research investment.


They then evaluated what combinations of factors would put Nigeria on track toward its goal using scenario analysis, a mix of qualitative and quantitative modelling principles.


Suleiman Yakubu, PhD researcher at the Institute of Aquaculture, said Nigeria is the second-largest producer of farmed fish in Africa after Egypt, but the country has a ways to go before it can realise the 2.5 million tonnes of aquaculture potential estimated by the government.


Yakubu said it is essential to increase farmers' access to high-quality fish feed through the development of regional feed resources. Over 50% of fish feed is currently imported, which is both prohibitively expensive and ineffective.


Yakubu also said the inclusion of aquaculture in land use zoning plans and the designation of expansion areas for larger production systems would be made possible in Nigeria by promoting aquaculture as a component of land use classification. Fish farming in Nigeria currently takes place in small ponds in urban and peri-urban areas, with no room for expansion and no way to monitor it.


He said because the aquaculture sector interacts with many other policy areas, including import policy, land use, water use, and poverty alleviation, those intersections need to be taken into account when planning.


He also said the aquaculture industry and researchers must work together more effectively to increase productivity and yield while deepening our understanding of the effects of climate change. This requires significant investment in research. All of these would eventually lower the nation's aquaculture production costs.


On a national level in Africa, which the researchers claim is more useful to comprehend and prepare for the changes that need to happen, scenario analysis has not yet been used to explore the potential of aquaculture on a global and regional scale.


-      Fish Information & Services

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