• Sunday, June 23, 2024
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Fish farmers decry high price of fish feed, seek government’s intervention

Farmers laud Olam Agri’s contribution to N210bn fish market

Fish farmers in Ondo state, under the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)/Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) Project programme, have decried the high price of fish feed in the country.

The fish farmers made this known in Akure during a media tour of the farm of some of the beneficiaries of the IFAD LIFE-ND Project programme in Ondo State.

Lanre Adekunle, a fish farmer while speaking with journalists said the price of fish feed is worrisome and needs to be looked into immediately by the government because if not checked on the time it will impact negatively on the agric value chain.

Adekunle, who said that he had about 12 fish ponds with different fishes like catfish, Tilapia and others said it is time for government and IFAD/LIFE-ND intervention to regulate the price of fish feed in the country.

“One of the major challenges we are facing is the high cost of fish feed and we want the state government, IFAD and the federal government to help us look into this,” he said.

“We want the government to actually come in at least to subsidize the price because if there is a subsidy on the fish feed, it will be a bit more profitable than at the very high cost and selling at very lower cost,” he said.

Adekunle, who explained that he was trained and empowered in 2021 by IFAD/LIFE-ND Project said the empowerment had changed his life for the better.

“I was trained and empowered in 2021 and I was later elevated to incubators in which I have about five incubatees assigned to me in my farm for training now,” he said.

“In fact, with the level of empowerment I got from the IFAD/ LIFE-ND and I am set to add crocodile farming to my farm soon.

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“People think that IFAD/LIFE-ND Project programme is one of the government programmes that don’t surface but at the end, it was discovered that IFAD LIFE-ND is real.

“I am now a real-time farmer, no idleness and will get to work and make more money than before,” he said.

He, therefore, called on other trainees and members of the public to embrace fish farming saying it is a lucrative business that could put food on their tables.

Speaking in the same vein, Opeyemi Akintade and Pelumi Olaseinde, appreciated the IFAD LIFE-ND for their intervention empowerment and called on the government to provide waivers to fish feed importers so that Nigerian farmers could get fish feeds at lower rates.

The duo was among beneficiaries in the fishery processing of IFAD programme in Owode, Akure North Local Government Area saying the government should also provide soft loans for young farmers to enable them involved in farming.

Earlier, Olawale Ademola, the State Project Coordinator of IFAD LIFE-ND in Ondo State said that the tour visit was to showcase the success stories of beneficiaries and the implementation of the project in the state.

Ademola, who was represented by the State Rural Institution Gender and Unit Officer for IFAD, Bola Ajibade, therefore, encouraged incubatees not to relent in any challenges their might have faced.

According to him, both the incubatees and incubators need to forge ahead and be committed because IFAD/ LIFE-ND believed in commitment and reward commitment.

Ademola said, “the few places we have been to today, I am highly impressed with the level of performance of the incubatees after their graduation.

“One of them is now an incubator and the amazing thing is that he has gone beyond the project and he has even put in place some measures in getting the full package in the value chain.”