Supporting catfish farmers in Nigeria
In Nigeria, Nutreco wishes to improve the livelihoods of owners of small-scale fish farms by helping develop the aquaculture value chain. The main constraints in African aquaculture include a lack of quality feed for tilapia and catfish, the production of quality fingerlings and the demonstration of good farming practices. In its ambition to improve the productivity of these farms, Nutreco and our local joint-venture Skretting Nigeria are working together with Oxfam Novib and our local partner Durante.
In 2014, two feasibility studies were executed to identify robust local partners. These studies established that there were good opportunities to support farmers around Ibadan to either set up or improve tilapia and catfish farms as financially sustainable enterprises. The outcomes of the feasibility studies have led to a one-year pilot project.
In July 2015, Oxfam Novib and Nutreco entered into a one-year pilot project to support small-scale catfish farmers around Ibadan, Nigeria. The project is carried out in close cooperation with two local NGOs: the Farmers Development Union (FADU) and Justice, Development & Peace Commission (JDPC) in Ibadan. The project has a broad objective of contributing to a sustainable fish farming sector in Nigeria, in which small-scale farmers, women and young localscan benefit from economic opportunities in an environmentally sound manner. Nutreco, Oxfam Novib and the involved local stakeholders see ample opportunities to increase the yield of these fish farmers and thereby contributing to the global challenge of feeding 9 billion people sustainably in 2050.
More specifically, the project aims to 1) Enhance the income of current and new fish farmers around Ibadan, 2) Improve the yield, quality, management and environmental sustainability of current fish farmers around Ibadan, and 3) Encourage more fish farmers to set up new ponds in a sustainable manner to boost fish production and reduce the Nigerian dependency on fish import. Several clusters of farmers in the vicinity of Ibadan have been identified in order to make the pilot project cost-effective and commercially attractive for the technical assistance and fish feed operations of Skretting Nigeria. Key activities by Skretting Nigeria include the training of community officers (representatives of FADU and JDPC, who visit the various farmer groups on a weekly basis) and farmers on improved farm management. This includes water quality management, good feeding practices, fish handling, and environmental control.
Timeline: The pilot is scheduled for the period July 2015 – June 2016. If the pilot is successful, the project will be scaled up and extended for three years.