Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) Lagos, a multidisciplinary marine research institute and Nigeria’s prime institute for Marine Sciences, is building the capacity of fish farmers under the aegis of West Africa Aquaculture Productivity Initiative (WAAPI)-an innovative platform in the aquaculture industry which deals with the entire value chain.
The capacity building is for catfish farmers to adopt the canned catfish technology developed by the institute in order to increase their turnover in fish business.
Mr Martins Iheme who facilitated the training said the innovative platform was to heighten farmers awareness of the canny technology for the catfish and to build a platform where farmers will benefit from the technology.
While appreciating the efforts of NIOMR, Albert Best, Chairman WAAPI Abuja Chapter, said the challenge in the fishery industry now is that the price of fish feed is going up astronomically while the price of fish remains stagnant, adding that many farmers are now going out of production.
“They (NIOMR) have the technology and they are building up innovative platforms and we are one of the platforms they have chosen for us to benefit from that technology. Farmers who have fish of 250 to 300 grams have an option to can it instead of spending huge money on feed which truncates the farmers’ profits,” Mr. Best said.
Mr Adeyemi Remi, a research scientist with NIOMR, who explained how the technology works said farmers can make huge turn over if they avail themselves the opportunity the technology presents to them.
According to the researcher, the market for the canned catfish from their survey across the country shows enormous prospect, which is the best way out of the current situation where farmers get low prices for the catfish that weigh below one kg.
Dr Oresegun Adekunle, a director in the department of biotechnology in the institute, explained to the farmers the value they can still get from the waste that is generated in the process of canning adding that the head of the fish which cannot be canned, can be processed for sale in areas where such parts are highly consumed.