Fish farming activity in Nigeria dates back to about 50 years ago, with the establishment of a small experimental station at Onikan Lagos and an industrial farm about 20 hectares at Panyam in Plateau State by the Federal Government. The involvement of government and some private establishment in fish farming generated a lot of interest in the people. However,
- The Nigerian population still depends largely on captured fishes.
- Such captured fishes are from the wild
- Mostly frozen for distribution to urban centres throughout the country
- Or smoked for distribution to villages where there is limited cold-storage infrastructure.
- This has made Nigeria to become one of the largest importers of fish in the developing world with about 600,000 metric tons imported annually.
Despite the high rate of captured fish importation into the country,
- Many Nigerians still suffers from protein deficiency due to low protein intake.
- In their report in 2002, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimated that Nigeria requires two million metric tonnes of fish annually for consumption.
- Unfortunately, only 313,231 metric tons of fish were produced annually from aquaculture (WorldFish, 2019).
- Out of 35 grams of animal protein per day per person as recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, less than 7 grams is consumed on the average (FAO, 1991).
To solve this problem of protein deficiency, Nigerians must be ready for improved fish production and aquaculture.
At Aquatic Hub Afrique Network, we have observed that aquaculture expansion in Africa and Nigeria
- Has been on a slow process.
- Is faced with several challenges which have threatened its sustainability.
- Such challenges incude inadequate fish fingerlings and grow-out feeds for farmers, disease, processing, marketing and ignorance of fish farmers on the technicalities of fish rearing.
- We are confident that optimization of aquaculture value chain can sustain the economy of this country, Nigeria.
- We are an Academy focused on liberating Africa from the shackles of poverty and hunger through capacity building in aquaculture.
- We offer technical training to fish farmers, small holder farmers, women, youths, farm managers and new entrants on the basics of fish farming, consumer awareness, sustainable fish feed production, breeding disease-resistant and fast growing fingerlings, fish processing, packaging, marketing and transfer of technology among others.
- We are also involved in the training and retraining of farm hands.
- We offer the best in-class training facilities, curriculum as well as entrepreneurial and risk management insight to aquaculture as well as hands-on farm practical training.
We are also open to collaborations/partnership of individuals, corporate bodies, private organisations and government parastatals to sponsor their youths and employees to acquire practical aquaculture skills in our Institute for Self Reliance. At present, the institute is embarking on a project to train and establish five thousand (5,000) individuals in practical and sustainable aquaculture.
Citations and further readings WorldFish (2019). Nigeria. https://www.worldfishcenter.org/country-pages/nigeria. (Accessed March, 2019). Fabian Odum (2016). FISH SUPPLY DEFICIT: Bridging Gap, Boosting Protein Access. https://guardian.ng/features/agro-care/fish-supply-deficit-bridging-gap-boosting-protein-access/. (Accessed March, 2019). FAO/WHO (1991) Protein Quality Evaluation: Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation, FAO Food and Nutrition Paper 51. Rome: FAO.