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CURRENT STATUS OF AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA


CURRENT STATUS OF AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
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          The characteristics feature of the current phase of aquaculture development in Nigeria is the emergence of investment from the private sector as the driving force. This is also complemented with the government policy of transferring its farms to the private sector. Most re cent investment in aquaculture has been targeted towards catfish farming.

Presently live catfish attracts premium price in Nigeria, with a high ROI (Return On-Investment) ranging between 30 to 40 percent in some very successful enterprises (e.g. IFC, Technoserve 2003). This is now a major attraction to private sector investors in Nigeria. Currently about 90 percent of farmed fish in Nigeria is catfish; during last four years almost all targeted towards catfish production. It is estimated that within this period fish seed production has jumped from 3 million in 2000 to about 30 million in 2005, and 55 million in 2007. The emergence of high volume producers who have invested in intensive recirculating and flow-through fish production systems have been largely responsible for the phenomenal increase in the volume of production of both fingerlings and table fish.

       The estimated total current investment in aquaculture including hatchery facilities and equipment in Nigeria is about N10 billion (US$75 million). There are about 30 small-, medium- and large-scale intensive, closed recirculating and flow-through systems especially in the southwest and south-south zones where over 77 percent of all fish farms and hatchery infrastructures are located. Investment is still growing, especially with the renewed awareness being created by the government through the Presidential Initiative on Fisheries and Aquaculture and 642 private fish farms that have been inventoried by the Aquaculture and Fisheries Project (AIFP) in December 2004, while an estimate of 500 farms are at commercial level, most of them are poorly managed. More than half of these commercial fish farms have small- to medium-sized hatcheries built beside them and again most of these are either abandoned and at best under producing (at times on more than 5 percent of installed capacity). Abandonment has been due largely to the technical incapabilities of the hatchery managers, as most of them are either poorly trained or inadequately remunerated and in other cases, both. That is why this trained manual came to being in order to equip you in things you need to know before embarking on this lucrative venture and to guide you of add more knowledge to what you must have seen to know if you are already into the business so as to be better equipped.

Presently, seed supply from government and public sectors, hatcheries (including research institutes and universities) are about 10 percent of the total. The current picture of freshwater fish seed supply in Nigeria is presented in Table.

Table 3.1 Freshwater fish seed supply in Nigeria

Source
Percentage
Seed production
Private sector (ponds and hatcheries)
80%
44 million
Public sector (government fish farms, hatcheries, universities, research institutes)
10%
5.5 million
Wild collection
9%
4.55 million
Importation and other source
1%
0.55 million
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