Nigeria Catfish Project
Fish represents an important part of the diet of people in Nigeria. Although the country has a significant aquaculture sector, demand for fish still exceeds supply. Therefore, an increase in the production of farmed fish will secure both an affordable and nutritious food supply. Therefore, an increase in the production of farmed fish will secure both an affordable and nutritious food supply.
In 2015, Nutreco partnered with Oxfam and two Nigerian NGOs to undertake a one year pilot project to support small scale catfish farmers from around Ibadan in Nigeria. The aim of the project was to increase the productivity, profitability and sustainability of their operations so they could benefit from the economic opportunities in an environmentally sound manner.
A total of 94 farmers participated in the project which took place between July 2015 and August 2016. During this time, a series of training sessions were run by the project partners on topics such as feed management, disease and water quality. A detailed data management system was also developed to enable farmers to collect better data and compare performance overtime.
The project resulted in the adoption of better feeding practices amongst the farmers which improved fish performance as well as water quality. It also advanced the technical capabilities of the farmers and identified market conditions that affect the profitability of farmers. In addition it created an opportunity for networking amongst farmers which facilitated open sharing of information which had not occurred in the past.
The farmers involved in the project were very enthusiastic and expressed a desire to continue in the future. "I have learnt so much during this project in terms of daily record keeping, calculating feed conversion ratio, test cropping and how to disinfect the ponds. My appreciation therefore goes to JDPC and Nutreco for giving me an opportunity to partake in the project’’ says Nigerian farmer, Dahunsi Olufemi Joshua. As such, Nutreco has decided to extend the project for two years with the aim to further improve and document the profitability and productivity of the farmers.
In the next phase, Nutreco will continue to work directly with farmers and has appointed a dedicated technical manager at our local Skretting Nigeria office to plan and execute the project. "I am very happy to be working on this project and am confident it will deliver positive results for the farmers who take part," says Omoniyi Ajitoni, Project Manager.