Farmers and members of the Fisheries Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (FCFN) have expressed gratitude to the management of the Wuye Ultramodern International Market for opening a new section for fish farmers and processors.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at the market in Abuja, the Director of Operations of the market, Mr. Balogun Oluwasegun, said the opening of the section was very significant because fish was an important sub-sector of the economy considering the quantum of import, especially now that more people were moving away from red meat to white meat.
Mr. Oluwaseun said, “The role fish farmers play in the economy is very important. Therefore, it is very important that we carry them along in a project such as this,” adding that the authorities of the market had offered the farmers free space for six months.
The farmers who expressed delight over the allocation of the section by the management promised to maintain and retain the section in order to meet the need of fish consumers in and around Wuye District.
Alhaji Usman Shettima, the Secretary General of the FCFN, while speaking at the event, said the estimated national demand was about 3.3 million metric tonnes, but that current production was 1.2 million tonnes, “which means there are more opportunities to generate employment for our teeming youths.”
He expressed, “The major cost in fish production is the feed, which consume about 70 per cent of the total investment.”
Also, of utmost concern to the farmers is the issue of security. According to him, many farmers can no longer access their farms, and that those who have huge stock cannot sell or evacuate them to the markets.
Besides these, he mentioned post-harvest losses, which he said was a major challenge, something the representative of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. John Onobvioh, said the ministry was addressing.
Alhaji Shettima also mentioned poor data for the fishery sub-sector, stressing that there was no data of the exact quantity, type of fish and the location, including the data of fish farmers.