WAY OUT FOR AQUACULTURE REVOLUTION AND JOB CREATION

Before 1990s, our efforts in Aquaculture were majorly directed to the culture of African catfish and Tilapia. The stocking density of the former was ridiculously low. It can hardly make any economic sense. Even with this, its farming went on unabatedly. The stocking of Tilapia was not determined because of its prolific reproduction, even at a very small size. Polyculture with a carnivorous fish like African catfish, Gymnarchus sp, and  Channa obscura was then used in controlling excessive reproduction of Tilapia sp.

From 1995, the culture of Catfish was improved upon. Improved strain was imported from Europe. Technology was transferred along with it. https://www.viagrapascherfr.com/viagra-pas-cher-pharmacie-paris/ Since then, a lot of work has been done on Catfish in Nigeria than any country in the world. One should not be surprise about this. Nigeria is reputed to be the world largest consumer of Catfish.

With modern technology and improved strain, we are still at cross road. Many farmers have closed shop.  Why this?

Fish Feeds: We used mostly imported feed. Good, fair and poor ones, all are imported into the country with abnormal expiring period of one year in most cases. They are all expensive, our customs, quarantine and NAFDAC contributed in no small measure to the high cost of feed with their charges.

Local production of feed came on board with very resounding success. Our expectation as far as fish feed is concerned is too high for a very cheap fish like African Catfish. To use 42% protein feed is always the expectation of our farmers. How do we come about this high level of protein feed for Catfish? It all started with CHI Ltd. The company is the pioneer of modern day Aquaculture in Nigeria. CHI Ltd. started off production with a higher protein level as result of chicken offal and shrimp peel generated within their company. Although, these are unconventional ingredients but very rich in protein and contributed very little to the cost of the feed. The result achieved as at that time is what everybody wants to emulate, hence the demand for 42% protein. Unless we demand low level protein feed that is cheaper, fish production in Nigeria will remain unsustainable.

Rearing system: The rearing system (Re-circulatory) adopted by Chi ltd is an expensive system to run. Until we all adopt a system that depend less on electricity e.g Cage culture system, profitable aquaculture will remain a mirage.

Culturable fishes: Serious efforts should be directed into farming fishes that command higher value. A lot of work has been done on Tilapia all over the world. The meat is whiter, its consumption not restricted by religious observances as in the case of catfish. Production constraints being reduced and production cost decreasing. It is not carnivorous and has strong immune system.

We need to look more inwards. There are many culture-able fishes in Nigeria. Notable among them are Heterotis Niloticus , Gymnarchus niloticus, and Chrysichtys nigrodigitatus. The latter accepts formulated very well contrary to general belief. This fish has a very good market in Lagos and its environment. The culture of this fish should be encouraged in Cages. Going outside our environment, common carps is reputed to strive very well in Nigeria. It is very easy to breed and the meat is generally acceptable in the country, its culture should be promoted.

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