Fishing worst performing agriculture sub-sector in third quarter of 2020 – the catfish farming experience in Nigeria

Some of the reasons for the contraction of fishing in Nigeria include high cost of inputs, inefficient production methods and low price of fish in the market

Concrete pond used in catfish farming

The fishing industry in Nigeria contracted by 2.07 percent in the third quarter (July – September) of 2020 according to the National Bureau of Statics. Fishing was the only sub-sector in agriculture that includes crop production, livestock and forestry to contract.

What this contraction means is that farmers are investing less in fishing. Based on experience at Divine Fish Farms and Gardens, some of the reasons for the contraction include high cost of inputs to fish farming, inefficient production methods by farmers and low price of fish in the market.

Input to fish farming include fish feed, water, labour, medication and transportation. The cost of these inputs have increased considerably in the past few years and have led to hight cost of producing fish.

Many farmers are not properly educated about methods that lead to optimal fish growth and production. Hence they use methods of fish farming that are wasteful and lead to losses.

A lot of people engaged in fish farming in Nigeria are not knowledgeable about market pricing and sell their fish at ridiculously low prices that are below cost of production. Furthermore, the purchasing power of Nigerians has weakened considerably in the last few years and they are not willing to pay enough for their fish protein. As a result of the low price of fish in the market farmers who sell their fish at below production price incur losses and eventually run themselves out of business.

The reasons I have given above are only a handful. Some people also add that the fishing sub-sector in agriculture in Nigeria is contracting because of government neglect over the years. Do you agree? If you are a fish farmer what other reasons do you know that have led to contraction in the fish farming sub-sector? Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.

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