Farmers in Lagos State’s aquaculture value chain have received training in fish processing and marketing in order to boost production, build capacities, and create a conducive atmosphere for their activities.
In light of this, the Lagos APPEALS Project, in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), organized the training to address low production and marketing.
Mrs Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, the State Project Coordinator (SPC), said the farmers’ newfound knowledge will help them reduce post-harvest losses and overcome marketing challenges.
She said: “The training will enhance farmers’ productivity, ensure higher profits, increase processed output and create jobs. It will also reduce losses since waste and glut would be reduced.
“We are expecting many farmers to go into production of more aquaculture products. There are off-takers and processors that will purchase these fishes from them. Canned fishes, prawn crackers, fish crackers can be sold outside Nigeria which can help to generate income for the nation at large.
“Many of our youths will be attracted to the fish crackers because the new technology is attractive. Also, through the canning, a lot of investors will come into play and invest because if this technology exists and there are no moulds for canning then it becomes an issue.” The Head of Department, Fish Technology and Product Development of NIOMR Dr Olaitan Olajuigbe said it will be a good investment for fish farmers to venture into canned fish in Nigeria.
She said: “We have been able to take the participants through value-added fishing produce like fish roll, fish cake, fish crackers, fish pie and the rest of them. We went through the process of smoking and canning of fish. We are also trying to encourage our investors to go into canning. “
“Nigeria is the largest importer of Titus Sardine. We eat it almost all the time and we do not have any industry in Nigeria that is canning fish. So it will be a good investment if we could see someone take it up so we can start exporting fish to European countries.”
Mrs Nurat Atoba, the President of the Lagos State Catfish Allied Farmers Association, expressed gratitude to APPEALS and NIOMR for providing the training. She added that the knowledge gained by the beneficiaries will be shared with other farmers.