Fish production: Farmers seek subsidy on fishing inputs

The Fisheries Co-operative Federation of Nigeria Limited, has appealed to the Federal Government to subsidise fishing inputs to boost local fish production.
Its National President, Anthony Ashagye, made the appeal in Abuja, on Monday.
He said that improving local production through subsidy would help to close the wide gap between supply and demand of fish in the country.
Ashagye listed some of the implements needed to boost production to include fishing trawlers and modern fishing canoes.
According to him, the shrimps that were in Nigerian waters are enough for local consumption, as well as exportation to earn foreign exchange.
“Our marine waters, I mean the lakes, rivers, streams, are producing fish and they are natural.
“We do not even catch what is in our water, some people come from outside the country to catch our fish and resell to us.
“We lack the inputs; the industrial fishermen want fishing trawlers. They need it, but it is costly. Government can subsidise crops and livestock.
“The generation is aging now. Our fathers were using dug-out canoes, but today, we have modern fishing canoes and they are very costly, beyond the reach of a common fisherman.
“Many countries are subsidising agriculture. If government is talking about increasing production, government should subsidise fishing and aquaculture inputs.’’
He noted that fishermen also needed capacity building and training to catch up with new innovations in the sector.
On foreign citizens fishing on the country’s waters, Ashagye said that the government had excluded fishermen in the committee set up to monitor and guard the waters.
According to him, government should involve the fishermen and the private sector in its planning and monitoring of water bodies.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the country, currently, has a deficit in fish production to the tune of about 1.1 million tons.

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