The National Fish Association of Nigeria (NFAN) has disclosed that Nigeria is losing billions of naira due to low level of fish farming production in the country. The disclosure was made in a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day workshop of the South-East zone of the association in Abuja.
The association has called on the Federal Government to increase its efforts in curbing importation and encouraging local production of the commodity to enable the country to maximise its benefit.
According to NFAN in the communique signed by the National Publicity Secretary of NFAN, Chidike Ukoh, Nigeria needs to look inwards and tap into the huge potential in fish production.
“Nigeria is blessed with rivers and other bodies of water with various species of fish as well as new technology in fish farming techniques.
“This will not only generate income for government but guarantee healthy fish consumption and increased job opportunities,” said NFAN.
Commenting on the workshop called ‘Fish production, processing and certification for export’, NFAN said that it was held to bring relevant stakeholders from within and outside the country to brainstorm and develop strategies to maximise fish production.
Recommendations: In the statement, the Fish Association recommended lending incentives, capacity building, among others as areas to look into in repositioning the subsector.
“The role of NIRSAL is key in facilitating agricultural lending incentives through commercial banks at a single-digit interest rate and with risk reduction guarantees.
“Fish farmers’ cooperatives’ structures also ought to acquire new skills and techniques to access funding, inputs and off-taker and market arrangements under the Anchor Borrower Programme.
“There is equally the need to grow the country’s Gross Domestic Product from the fisheries and aquaculture subsector through empowerment of related businesses for increased and sustainable production,” it added.
What you should know: Fish farming, if given utmost priority, can be valuable to the economy. Apart from producing enough fish to meet the nation’s demand, it can also be exported to other countries to be used as raw material in manufacturing industries for productions of glues, paints, medications and so on.
Fish farming can also be a viable sector for foreign investments because when it attracts the attention of foreign investors, it will, in turn, be of advantage as it will boost the country’s economy.