• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Farmers laud Olam Agri’s contribution to N210bn fish market

Farmers laud Olam Agri’s contribution to N210bn fish market

Fish farmers in Nigeria have lauded Olam Agri for the recent improvement in productivity levels in the fishing sector valued at N210 billion in the first half of 2023.

The farmers have attributed some of the progress recorded in the sector to the company’s investments in the value chain since 2017.

The country’s fishing industry grew 0.53 percent in 2017, 1.64 percent in 2018, grew again in 2019 by 3.33 percent, slowed to 0.26 percent in 2020, and grew marginally in 2021 to 1.16 percent. In 2022, the growth slowed to 0.47 percent.

“Olam agri employs technical experts who go around to visit farms to work with the farmers to improve farm clusters’ productivity,” said Olatoye Fajimi, vice president of the Lagos State Catfish and Allied Farmers Association, attesting to the business’ value chain impact.

Olam Agri Nigeria, an agribusiness in food, feed and fibre started investing in the aquaculture value chain in 2017 through its feed milling unit.

“Before then,” a statement made available by the company said, “the sector was bedeviled with different challenges among which were poor knowledge of modern fish farming practices, inaccessibility of high-quality feed, high mortalities in hatcheries, slow growth in nursery phase and irregular sizes during harvest. This led the agribusiness to immediately set machinery in motion to address the challenges.”

Olam Agri flew in Matthew Tan, one of its global aqua experts, who trained and introduced local farmers to trendy fish farming practices, according to the statement.

Tan also trained over 40 Olam Agri technical experts who continued to work with the farmers. Approximately 7,500 Nigerian fish farmers, among whom were women fish farmers, were equipped with aquaculture practices by the business’s team of experts.

In addition, the agribusiness located a state-of-the-art feed mill in Ilorin to ensure a steady supply of quality and affordable fish feed to fish farmers.

Lazarus Odafi, owner of Odafi Fish Farm located within the Asejere Fish Farms cluster in Odogbolu, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, said, “Olam Agri came to our farm cluster and trained us on pond water management techniques, how to test PH level in the pond, and ways to curb feed waste.

They helped us understand the science of catfish farming, especially how to create the right environment for the fish to thrive. These efforts have really impacted our businesses.”

“Since feed is one of the most important inputs in fish farming, Olam Agri increased the availability of feed to farmers. They help farmers gain access to feed in an instant by localising their production in key hubs here in Nigeria,” Odafi added.

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Dorcas Ogundeyi of Tripple T Farms located in Ipaja said, “The conversion rates of Olam Agri feed brands have been superb. An Olam Agri’s technical expert taught me how to manage disease in my pond and how to measure water quality. These inputs have made some impacts on my farm productivity level.”

Okpapi Lucy whose farm is in Alagbado, Lagos, said she struggled until she met an Olam Agri technical expert who introduced her to new methods of farming.

She emphasised the business’ attention to customer improvement, “Anytime I have issues on the farm and call them, they would show up almost instantly. They are hands-on.

In fact, they would go into my pond to address any challenge I complained about. Olam Agri is one of the reasons I am still in business.”