Nigeria’s catfish production jumped from 83,000 tonnes in 2006 to 900,000 just eight years later, according to the statistics presented by the Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria, CAFAN.
It was also revealed that Nigeria spent N100 billion annually in the importation of 1.44 million metric tonnes of fish, a development fish farmers believe is a huge loss of revenue and jobs for Nigerians in the fishing business.
National President of the CAFAN, Mr Tayo Akingbolagun, disclosed yesterday even as he said local fish production in Nigeria is still far cry from the domestic needs of the populace adding that the nation requires 2.66 tonnes of fish annually.
Akingbolagun, who spoke during the inauguration of the Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria, CAFAN, Edo state chapter in Benin,said the steady growth of catfish production in Nigeria can be traced to the activities of the catfish farmers.
“The potential of aquaculture production in Nigeria is estimated at four million metric tons annually, consumption is about 2.66 million tonnes, while the total production is only 900,000 metric tonnes.”
He said the farmers have over time been catalysts through networking, organising and execution of trade fairs and capacity building among others to ensure that the business is sustained especially in the quest to meet domestic demands for fish.
He also noted that Nigeria was blessed with enormous water resources suitable for any form of aquaculture, with, “‎an estimated area of 1.7 million hectares excluding marine and brackish water bodies available for aquaculture”.
Akingbolagun urged the newly inaugurated body to work together in harmony in other to surmount the challenges of the fisheries sector and promote group spirit and aquaculture best practices.
In his acceptance speech, the chairman of CAFAN, Edo chapter, Mr. Osuzwa Imafidon, thank the national president for agreeing to inaugurate the association in the state and added it would help to champion efforts to place Edo state at the vanguard of aqua-culture industry.

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