• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Selling in hampers increases catfish farmers’ income


By selling locally produced live catfish in hampers – plastic boxes filled with water and perforated at the top – fish farmers are able to sell directly to the high-end market rather than marketers who usually short-change them on price.

Tunde Sanni, a fish farmer, owner of Tee Ess Farm, says: “A catfish hamper with the fish is sold for N15,000. We put two very big live catfish in the hamper weighing 5kg altogether. Customers who buy usually give them as gifts to high net-worth individuals like managing directors of blue-chip companies and monarchs.”

If sold to market women who are marketers or middlemen, farmers hardly get up to N5,000 for 5kg of catfish, so they are able to make more money. The catfish are delivered live in the boxes and can live for three to four days, as long they are not fed. “If they are fed, they will defaecate, the water will be contaminated and they would die sooner than expected,” Sanni explains.

According to Sanni, it is also a means of promoting the brand of a farm as the plastic boxes usually carry the label of the farm, and this leads to repeated sales. Because the fish has to be bigger than the usual sizes to make the gift more attractive, the farmers who sell fish in hampers also buy large size fish from other farms when they run out of stock, and then package, brand and sell to customers.

The main challenge is the logistics, getting the fish across to the customers/consumers and keeping them alive in traffic, as they are also delivered to recipients in other states of the federation.

Sanni says one of his customers who bought the fish hamper with two large catfish during a festive period gave it to the monarch in his hometown and the gift was very much appreciated. He also says a family based abroad that came to spend some time in Nigeria was presented the fish hamper and the children were so thrilled that they did not want the fish killed. But they did cook them and enjoy the meal before the four days were up.