Fish farmers seeks government aid to save industry

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The Hadejia Emirate Fish Farmers Association, has appealed to the Federal Government to grant 50 per cent subsidy on fish feeds and drugs to save the fishing industry from imminent collapse.

Chairman of the association, Alhaji Isa Billami, made the plea while speaking with the newsmen in Hadejia.

Billami said that subsidising fishery was imperative because many fish farms had closed down because of high cost of feeds and drugs.

“High cost of feed is a threat to fishery in Nigeria.

“A 15 kg of fish feed which cost between N3, 200 to N3, 500 some few years ago is now selling at N9, 000.
“The problem here is that the price of 1 kg of fish is still selling at between N600 to N700.

“If you stock 1,000 fishes in a nursery, before they reach the table size, you will feed them for at least six months if all the necessary conditions are met.

“Consequently, many people had to quit the business because they had either recorded losses or the profit was insignificant, considering what they spent from nursery, fingerling, juvenile and table size stages,” he said.

Billami, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Arawa Farms, Hadejia, said that the neglect of the sector by both the Federal and State governments was responsible for the problem.

“The Federal Government is spending a lot on crop cultivation and its planning to spend more on ranching. Why is it not doing the same to fish farming?

“The danger here is that, according to experts, intense fishing activities will lead to the extinction of fish from our rivers over the next 15 years.

“You can now see why fish farming is the best alternative as it remains a potential source of foreign exchange earnings and a driver to self dependency,”

The chairman suggested the provision of soft loans to fish farmers and the establishment of more feed companies that would sell the commodity at a subsidised rate.