Some farmers in Lagos state Nigeria on Monday 4, February 2019 urged the federal government to subsidize the fish feeds to promote local fish production.
The farmers told the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in an interview that they could not compete favorably with their foreign counterparts due to high cost of feed which, they claimed, gulped about 75 percent of production cost.
The president National President, Tilapia Developers Association of Nigeria, Mr Remi Ahmed said that local feed producers were not using the right ingredients. According to him, this negatively affects the taste and growth of fish, especially catfish.
“Catfish is mostly affected by this development; most local feed producers are not using quality ingredients. “Fish farmers do not have a choice; because of the high cost feed, they tend to minimize production cost by using locally-produced feeds. “Fish feed takes about 75 per cent of fish production cost; how many farmers can cope with that?it will be difficult,” he said.
Mr Tola Benson, a catfish farmer in Ikorodu,Lagos, said that substandard fish feed had affected the quality and growth offish produced locally. Benson said: “We have been having issues of rejection from the international market because of the standard of our fish. “We need to ensure that good agricultural practices are maintained by providing quality fish feed at a price that will be beneficial to the farmers. “In other climes,governments subsidies the production process of fish; that is why they are usually cheaper, even when imported to Nigeria. “We want to urge the Federal Government to look into production of quality but subsidized fish feeds so that the cost of fish will be reduced,” Benson said.