Aquaculture firm to aid reduce dependence on fish imports
2017-04-19 11:55:47   copyfrom:    hits:

Farmed tilapia (Photo: Terje Engoe Copyright: FIS)NIGERIATuesday, April 18, 2017,23:50 (GMT + 9)The Federal Governme
 

 
Farmed tilapia. (Photo: Terje Engoe/Copyright: FIS)

 

NIGERIA 
Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 23:50 (GMT + 9)

 

The Federal Government of Nigeria confirmed the country's current fish production has reached 1.1 million tonnes, compared to only 800 tonnes in 2015, thanks to the measures implemented to meet the deficit of 2.1 million tonnes gap and foster self-sufficiency.

Speaking at the launch of the first Premium Aquaculture tilapia harvesting, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development Senator Heineken Lokpobiri pointed out the increase in fish production in the country was a result of the government's policy of backward integration of breeding fish locally and reduction in fish importation, Vanguard News reported.

"The Federal Government has remained committed to the agricultural sector, particularly the aquaculture industry, which is a major component of the sector, and has, therefore, formulated policies to upscale fish production for self sufficiency and food security,” the minister stressed.

The official explained that they are working hard to meet the fish demand in West Africa and thereby, reducing importation to cut the pressure on foreign imports.

Meanwhile, the Minister has also encouraged investors to invest in fish production and assured them of government's support in areas of expansion and others as it did to Premium Aquaculture Limited.

For his part, Managing Director of Premium Aquaculture Limited Prakash Aildasani revealed that his company would supply 10 to12 million fingerlings to outgrowers who would be trained to scale up capacity development and productivity in the fish industry.

Also present at the event, the farm manager, Govin Daraju, said the company was incorporated in 2014 to develop tilapia, catfish and shrimp farming projects across Nigeria.

In addition, he said the aim was to produce food fish locally and make Nigeria self - sufficient in line with federal government's agricultural transformation agenda.

‎Daraju, however, noted that the hatchery facility at Oyan dam has a capacity to produce 12 million fingerlings per annum that can supply half of the country's present tilapia fingerlings requirement.

‎According to him, the food wastage in the country is very high due to lack of fish processing and storage facilities and it can be curtailed only through cold chain.

He added: "The cold chain facility would help the company to supply all-natural, freshly frozen, premium tilapia to the market.‎"

The entrepreneur, therefore, identified lack of aquaculture inputs in the local market as the company's initial challenges, pointing out that the other major challenge was lack of fast growing tilapia fingerlings and uninterrupted supply of good quality feed to grow fish to marketable size.

"Foreseeing the challenges, our company has strategically invested in fish hatchery at first place and also invested in 100 cages", he concluded.

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