The shortfall in the production of aquaculture and artisanal fish has left Nigeria with a huge expenditure on the products’ importation, data from the National Wet Season Agricultural Performance Survey (APS) 2017 has shown.
The survey indicated that the country’s total annual fish demand was estimated at 2.7 million tonnes, with the country’s fish farmers producing only 30 percent, resulting in an annual expenditure of N125bn on fish imports.
The survey, which was conducted by the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as well as state ministries of agriculture, indicated a serious decrease in fish production in many states compared to the performance in 2016.
It revealed that Nigeria’s per capita fish consumption of 11kg was still lower than the global average of 21kg.
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The report, however, attributed the decline in fish production to the high cost of fish feeds, poor market, non-access to credit facilities, aquatic pests and diseases, among others.
Adamawa produced 10,000 tonnes of fish in 2017 as against 20,000 tonnes produced in 2016; while fish production in Bauchi State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) recorded a decrease of 21.62 per cent and 71 per cent in 2017 respectively.
Kogi produced 20,955 tonnes of fish in 2017, as against 271 Adamawa produced, 315.11 tonnes produced in 2016, while Akwa Ibom recorded a 46 per cent decrease, producing 96,590 tonnes of fish, as against 178,871 tonnes produced in 2016.
However, the report indicated a slight increase in fish production in Gombe, Kwara and Oyo states.
It listed some fish diseases that contributed to the drop in production as fin rot, abdominal swelling, fish louse, bacterial diseases, abdominal dropsy, broken head diseases, among others.