By Ginika Okoye
The Fisheries Cooperative Federation of Nigeria (FCFN) has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to include fisheries in its Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) to help fish farmers meet national demand for fish.
The National President of the federation, Mr Anthony Ashagye, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that fish farmers had the capacity to meet the 2.6 million tonnes national demand for fish if assisted by the programme.
Ashagye listed some of the challenges hampering increased fish production in the country to include high cost of fish feeds, inadequate training and technological know-how on modern fishing techniques.
He regretted that over five per cent of fish farmers had retired from the business as a result of the challenges.
“We are targeting to increase our production this year.
“We want to meet the target of 2.6 million tonnes which is the national demand for fish because we are into this business on a daily basis.
“We have the capacity to do it but we are being faced with certain challenges like the high cost of fish feed.
“Almost five per cent of our fish farmers have now retired because of the high cost of the fish feed.
“Fisheries should be included in the CBN’s ABP so that our people will be empowered and that will help us to meet our target.
“We need fishing and aquaculture inputs to increase our production. We need training on cooperatives so that we can manage ourselves properly,’’ he said.
Ashagye said the inclusion in the CBN agriculture programme would also help fish farmers collate their production data across the country.
The federation is the apex body of fisheries cooperative societies, unions and federation in states; made up of fishermen, fish farmers and other fish stakeholders.