In a bid to boost fish export in Nigeria, fish farmers in the country have been urged to scale up Tilapia farming.
According to the manager of Premium Aquaculture, Mr Raju Govin, an Indian Aquaculture experts, the mass production of Tilapia would help to meet the ever-increasing demands for Tilapia in Europe and the U.S.
“Tilapia is an African fish but is being cultured worldwide.
“Currently, the U.S. is the major consumer of Tilapia and the demand for it is ever increasing,”
Govin said there was need to step up awareness on the export potential of Tilapia, though cat fish remains a staple in Nigeria.
“We are trying to create awareness for Tilapia , fresh fish is better than frozen fish.”
Also, Mr Adedeji Abiodun, the National Secretary, Tilapia Aquaculture Developers Association of Nigeria (TADAN), harped on the need for a re-orientation of the local fish farmers about the benefits of Tilapia production.
“We are embarking on the re-orientation of local fish farmers on the need for Tilapia production.
“Federal and state governments can key into our efforts in view of economic diversification effort.”
Abiodun, who is also a food biologist, pointed out that the production of Tilapia was cost effective and more beneficial to the fish farmers.
“Tilapia reduces the cost in fish production as Tilapia does not depend fully on feeds which constitute 70 per cent of the cost in culturing the cat fish.
“Tilapia is herbivorous and can feed on maize and soya beans.
“I know the Federal Government is doing a lot in the agric sector, but there is more to be done especially in fish farming and fish export,” he said.
He therefore urged stakeholders in the sector to stop the over-concentration on cat fish production in Nigeria.