Cross section of some stakeholders at the stallholders’ engagement workshop in Ibadan on Tuesday
By Ibukun Emiola
Experts in the aquaculture industry in Nigeria have identified collaboration among stakeholders as a panacea to solving challenges in the industry.
They stated this at the stallholders’ engagement workshop in Ibadan on Tuesday.
The programme is with the theme: “Implementation of Best Management Practices in Aquaculture and E-Technology Platform Adoption for Sustainable Aquaculture Development in Nigeria”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project is funded by USAID, hosted by University of Ibadan and the International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM).
Prof. Olanike Adeyemo, the Principal Investigator, FIL Aquaculture Biosecurity Project, University of Ibadan, said the project was one of USAID-funded projects under the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish.
Adeyemo said that Nigeria was the host Country, and the project sites are Ogun and Delta states.
According to her, the theme of the workshop is focused on disseminating Best Management Practices in Aquaculture.
She stated that it was developed as an outcome of the project with the hope that the uptake of BMP by farmers would lead to a significant reduction in the incidences of diseases in aquaculture.
“We should also be presenting a justification for a collaborative development and implementation of a National Aquatic Animal Health and Governance Strategy (NAAHS).
“We strongly believed that communicating our findings will in no little measure assist Competent Authorities with jumpstarting the processes involved in having a NAAHS enacted, implemented, and monitored.
This is to ensure performance sustainability and resilience of the Nigerian aquaculture industry,” she said.
Adeyemo said the workshop would showcase best examples of electronic technology platforms for aquaculture development in Nigeria.
This, she said, would include demonstrating the improvements of E-Aquahealth Solutions, that was developed to bridge the identified gap of inadequate veterinary and disease diagnostic support to the Industry.
Also, Prof. Gabriel Ogundipe, Head, Department, of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Ibadan, stated that the industry in Nigeria was growing and Nigeria was depending on it for animal protein supply.
So, many people are in the industry either as fishermen or as fish farmers, whereas a lot of people are also involved in marketing the products of the aquaculture industry.
“So, we need to sustain the industry to be able to feed the multitudes of Nigerians.
“We also need to sustain the industry to maintain the people who are employed by the industry.
“And, we also need to maintain this industry because of the consumers who depend on fish for their livelihood,” he said.
In his presentation, Prof. Larry Hanson, Principal Investigator, Aquaculture Biosecurity Project, Mississippi State University, USA said from the background, the key findings from the survey were lack of records of losses and production,.
Hanson said that there was also lack of biosecurity measures between production and stocking and between farms and within farms.
He stated after outbreaks, farmers rarely consulted veterinarians, adding that management had been the best defence, for disease prevention and to reduce losses, improves growth and reduces the use of drugs and chemicals.
He stressed the need for management-optimizing the environment, fish defences and minimizing the pathogen.
Others who spoke at the event, Dr Ganiyu Oladayo, Chief Executive Officer, Aquapet Ventures; Mr Bisi Oni of Fund Quest and Mr Lanre Oyedepo of Safeguard Insurance Brokers Ltd highlighted the challenges and way out of financing in the industry.
They also talked on the need to upscale to meet the future demands of the industry. (NAN)
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Isaac Aregbesola