From: AgroNature Admin
Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri has advised local fish farmers to embrace new technology in order to increase their yields and reduce shortage.
He said the only way fish farmers in the country can improve yield is to change from traditional farming method.
Lokpobiri made the call during a meeting with Olam Grains in Abuja.
In a statement issued by Special Adviser on Media to the Minister, George Oji, in Abuja, the group visited to show-case some investment opportunities and new application of technology in the fishery sub-sector.
The minister noted that with over 200 different fish species that abound in the nation’s coastal waters, local fish farmers should take advantage of the huge local and foreign markets, as well as government support to bridge the local gap in fish production.
Lokpobiri insisted that it is only by embracing new technology that fish farmers can end fish importation into the country, as well as be competitive with their counterparts globally.
The minister, according to the statement, used the opportunity to assure fish farmers in the country of his ministry’s readiness to do everything legally possible to collaborate and partner with them in order to grow the aqua culture business in the country, with huge potentials.
“The ministry will do everything legally possible to collaborate with you, including in the area of policy support to ensure that the huge gap in fish production in the country is bridged.
“If we partner with you, you will be able to upscale your production and bridge the huge gap in local fish consumption as well as the large export potentials that abound in the country,” the minister said.
Currently, the nation’s total annual fish demands stands at 3.5 million tons, out of which Nigeria farmers only produce 1.1million tons from all sources (Aquaculture, artisanal and Industrial sectors including shrimps) leaving a deficit of about 2.4million tons to be supplemented by importation.
In his lead presentation at the occasion, leader of the technical team, Professor Mathew Tan from the James Cook University Australia, urged fish farmers to embrace new innovations that abound in fish farming across the globe now to grow their yields.
Tan used the opportunity to make a strong case for fish farmers in the country to embrace Sea Bass (Barramundi) fish production in the country as part of the diversification of fish species in Nigeria.
He stated that research conducted by Olam showed that Barramundi can grow in sea and fresh waters in the country, making it possible to grow and multiply the fish in Nigeria.
Found mainly in the Asian and Mediterranean region of the world, Sea Bass or Barramundi fish according to the professor is highly nutritional and contains omega 3 and fatty acid, which is good for human body, especially pregnant women and children.