Fish farmers hold congress to address concerns in the aquaculture industry

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The congress which was held in Ibadan, dwelt on how aquaculture
business in Nigeria can be sustained amid the rising costs of fish
feeds and the irregular prices attached to fish products, as well as
how consumers are affected. These, according to the Association is
threatening fish production in the country.
Speaking exclusively to AgroNigeria, CAFAN President, Mr. Rotimi
Olibale, said the rise in the cost of production in the country
necessitated the meeting to create a bigger platform for other farmers
not in the association so as to agree on the way forward for the
industry.
“Our cost of production has gone out of reach, and because we are in
an economic recession, the purchasing power of the populace has also
gone down, so the farmers as producers of food, should ensure security
of the populace. So we came together to compare notes, to see how we
can better produce our fish at a lower cost,” he said.
Olibade further noted that “We are still below the United Nations (UN)
recommended consumption of fish packaging. We are about 13 to 14 per
cent whereas the UN standard is 20 per cent capital. So if we don’t
address these situations, the industry would be killed.”
Also speaking, the General Manager, Durante lndustries, Dr Tomi Asuni,
who is also part of the conveners, allayed the fears of many regarding
the issue of price fixing for fish products, which was discussed as a
way of regulating the market.
“What has been happening is that farmers have been selling below their
cost price. So what we are trying to do is to establish people’s
individual cost prices and having that as a minimum selling price so
that farmers do not sell at a loss, rather, they mark up and sell at a
profit to cover all their cost of production and keep sanity within
the market,” he said.
Moreover, many farmers who spoke to AgroNigeria at the event expressed
concerns on how it will affect the free market system operated in
Nigeria.
In response, Asuni said “It is still a free market. At the end of the
day what we are advising farmers is not to sell below their cost
price, if they do, they would create price wars which would destroy
the whole industry and that is what we are trying to protect.”
The President of the Tilapia Aquaculture Developers Association of
Nigeria (TADAN), Dr. Remi Ahmed, who was also at the event, stressed
on the importance of the congress, noting that the industry needs
inputs from all stakeholders if it is to develop to the standard
required of it.
In the communique released after the congress, the Association
concluded that there is an urgent need for fish farmers across the
region to come under a uniformed umbrella so that they could speak
with one voice. Furthermore, a petition was also drafted to be
delivered to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, to review policies
of background integration in the aquaculture industry, for the removal
of the tariffs and import duties on fish and other related fish feed
additives, and to intervene in the exportation of fish products.


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