Aquaculture business: Nigeria can make huge amount of money in export

In a bid to boost fish export, fish farmers in the country were, on Friday, in Lagos, urged to scale up tilapia farming.
Aquaculture experts said that mass production of tilapia would help to meet the ever-increasing demands for Tilapia in Europe and the United States of America.
A consultant and manager of Premium Aquaculture, Raju Govin, an Indian, said the demand for tilapia globally was on the increase, stressing the need to boost local production.
“Tilapia is an African fish, but is being cultured worldwide.
“Currently, the United States of America is a major consumer of Tilapia and the demand for it is ever increasing,” he said.
Govin said that there was a need to step up awareness on the export potential of tilapia, even though cat fish remained a staple in Nigeria.
“We are trying to create awareness on tilapia, because fresh fish is better than frozen fish.”
Also, the National Secretary, Tilapia Aquaculture Developers Association of Nigeria (TADAN), Adedeji Abiodun, harped on the need for a re-orientation of the local fish farmers about the benefits of tilapia production.
He said: “There is an over-concentration on cat fish production.
“We are embarking on the re-orientation of local fish farmers on the need for tilapia production.
“Federal and state governments can key into our efforts in view of economic diversification effort.”
Abiodun, who is also a food biologist, pointed out that the production of tilapia was cost effective and more beneficial to the fish farmers.
“Tilapia reduces the cost in fish production, as it does not depend fully on feeds, which constitute 70 per cent of the cost in culturing the cat fish.
“Tilapia is herbivorous and can feed on maize and soya beans.
“I know the Federal Government is doing a lot in the agricultural sector, but there is more to be done, especially in fish farming and fish export,” the TADAN scribe said.
A small-scale cat fish farmer, Tolu Ogunnaike, who is aware of the export potential of tilapia, said that he would rather continue breeding cat fish, because of its immediate market value.
“I do not culture tilapia as a young entrepreneur, because the Nigerian market is not enlightened enough to go for it.
“The export market is a good opportunity, but only if we can get direct access to the foreign market.”

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