By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko
Dr Effion Hogan, the National Secretary, Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFFAN) has reaffirmed the association’s commitment to improve local catfish production in 2021.
Hogan made the remark while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Ibadan.
He said the association would increase collaborations with development partners, research centres and extension service providers while organising trainings for farmers.
Hogan said there would be more collaborations with experts, professional bodies and development partners to improve skills and efficiency in fish production.
“We plan for the establishment of more fish farmers clusters and fish production villages to leverage on economies of scale to reduce cost of production and strengthen markets and prices,” he said.
To achieve these goals, Hogan expressed the need for fish farmers to continue to work together as a united body, under the umbrella provided by CAFFAN.
He urged the government to listen more to stakeholders and welcome inputs from players in the field in the formulation and implementation of policies aimed at developing fish farming and the farmed fish value chain.
“We invite and encourage all fish farmers to become more involved in the activities of the association.
“The difficulties we are encountering today will some day become history.
“All fish farmers all over the country are hereby encouraged to join the association at their various states levels,” Hogan said.
According to him, the farmers faced challenge of difficulty in accessing intervention funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria in 2020.
Hogan listed other challenges as, high costs of fish feeds, poor prices from middlemen and transporting fish wares to lucrative markets.
To tackle the challenges, he urged the government and relevant agencies to simplify the conditions for having access to inputs by farmers and their organizations.
“We also need tax and import levies relaxation for imported feeds inputs and elimination of double taxation on fish feed manufacturing companies.
“The need for understanding by law enforcement officers on the highways that fish is not contraband, is also important.
“During the last lockdown period, law enforcement officers refused to accept farmed fish as agricultural products and would not allow movements of such products.
“There were instances that they detained the live fishes and seed fish (fingerlings) in transit until they died,” Hogan said. (NAN)