Nigerian processed fish has been denied access to the United States of America’s market since February this year, the Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFFAN) has said.
National President of CAFFAN, Mr Oloye O. Rotimi, said this while speaking with Daily Trust shortly after the inauguration of the newly elected executive of the Abuja Chapter of the association weekend in Abuja.
“The problem with us is dual: one caused by our civil servants. There is a documentation they needed to go through the United States Department for Agriculture that was requested for three times, they refused to comply so America banned our processed fish. That has been since February. And you won’t believe that up till November, this problem is still there.
“A lot of the fish people had on the way to America were seized and destroyed. This is serious, I know a farmer who exported fish worth $55,000 and he lost it to this carelessness on the part of the civil servants,” Mr Oloye said.
He said other people around Africa are taking advantage of Nigeria, adding that “they will come here, take our products packaged it as the products of Ghana and Kenya and send it to this same America. I have been there and at least I have studied some of the African shops in America, the fish that comes from Nigeria is the best.”
Mr Oloye highlighted the challenges facing the aquaculture industry in Nigeria today to include access to finance, marketing, cost of inputs and lack of farmers’ adequate knowledge of the subsector.
Also speaking with Daily Trust, the newly elected chairman of the Abuja chapter of the association, Alhaji Mundu H. Mohammed, promised to put a structure in place that will enable fish farmers in the FCT reap good benefit from their investments.