Consultant advises fish farmers to embrace local feeds

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An Agriculture Consultant, Michael David has advised fish farmers in Nigeria to use locally produced feeds instead of depending on imported ones.

He gave the advice on Wednesday during a Fish Feed and Management Workshop held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan which was organised by American Soyabean Association (ASA) and Transforming African Agriculture Technology (TAAT Aquaculture Compact).

The consultant wondered why fish farmers choose to import fully compounded feeds, when Nigeria now produces more qualiative feeds capable of creating better profit margins for them.

“The feeds imported are good, but the local feeds produced in Nigeria are much better.

Fish farmers using locally made feeds have better chances of making more profit than those using the imported feeds,’’ he said.

He, however, called on The Nigerian government to create enabling environment for fish farmers to strive.

Prof. Bernadette Fregene, Leader of TAAT Aquaculture Compact, said the organisation is saddled with the responsibility of developing low cost feeds that would lead to the production of fast growing and disease resistant fishes.

Fregene said that fish feed contributes 60 to 80 per cent of the operating cost of fish farming, hence the need to reduce it’s cost .

“If a farmer feeds his fish with imported branded fish feeds, such a farmer may not be able to get higher profit margin compared to those feeding theirs with locally made fish feeds.

The plan of Aquaculture Compact is to work with local farmers that grow maize, cassava, soya bean and groundnut and see how we can make use of their products in making fish feed,’’ she said.

Chris Slemp, Programme Manager, ASA said the workshop was to demonstrate and present the results of local feeds to fish farmers.

Adama.L