Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fishing for Market Opportunities in Nigeria

Presenter Joy Michael narrates a how-to video on
fish farming produced by Chi Farms.
Nigerians consume nearly two million metric tons of fish per year, which creates a huge market opportunity for fish farming. A key ingredient in many national dishes, fish is an important source of protein that will see a booming demand as the country’s population grows.
But the fish sector faces challenges, too. More than half of the fish consumed by Nigerians is imported, and the price of imported fish have risen sharply. The government is taking steps to restrict fish imports fish to help encourage domestic production, but a gap in locally produced fish remains.

Even in areas like the Kanio and Sagamu, which have suitable water resources for fish farming, budding entrepreneurs lack the technical knowledge of the process of starting their own farm, as well as access to hatcheries that supply the juvenile fish that small-scale farmers need to profitably expand the population of their ponds.
Chi Farms, an agro-allied industry with a focus on livestock and aquaculture, is working to help small-scale farmers – primarily women – tap into this business opportunity through a collaboration with the U.S. government.
Known as the Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, the program implemented by USAID invests in partnerships to commercialize agricultural innovations in smallholder markets with private sector firms like Chi Farms.
The partnership aims to increase Chi Farms’ capacity to supply juvenile fish to farmers and build teams of aquaculture specialists to provide extension services. Under the partnership, Chi Farms will train 1,000 smallholder fish farmers in Lagos and Ogun States on new farming techniques, and skills to market their products.
“Fish farming is an untapped economic gold mine,” Chi Farms aquaculture specialist William Lawrent said. “Demand is higher than today’s cohort of fish farmers can supply.”
Because access to juvenile fish is a significant constraint to small-scale fish farmers, Chi Farms is building two new hatcheries to meet the growing demand for juvenile fish known as fingerlings. Each hatchery will produce more than a million juvenile fish per year, and provide access in previously underserved geographical areas.
Chi Farms is also staffed with Client Focus teams consisting of local university-educated specialists like Lawrent – who are training inexperienced farmers in good aquaculture practices, financial management, and the fundamentals of the business of aquaculture.
The Focus teams also assist more experienced fish farmers in setting up demonstration ponds that highlight the business potential of aquaculture in their respective communities. The teams also help new farmers to sell part of their harvest back to Chi Farms for processing, or directly to fresh fish markets.
As more farmers pursue aquaculture, the need for maize and soy for aquaculture feed also goes up, which will generate income for grain farmers and boost overall economic growth. To meet the new demand, Chi Farms is also helping provide new market opportunities for smallholder maize and soy farmers.
Photo: Presenter Joy Michael narrates a how-to video on fish farming produced by Chi Farms.

No comments:

Post a Comment