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Fish farmers laud the sector production rate

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By Usman Oladimeji

Olam Agri value chain investments contribute to the sector's growth.

The Nigerian farmers in the fishery sector have lauded Olam Agri for the notable enhancement in productivity rate within the fishing sector, which has been valued at N210 billion during the first half of 2023. Farmers believe the company’s value chain investments made since 2017 are responsible partly for the sector’s growth. In 2017, the fishing sector in the nation expanded by 0.53 percent, 1.64 in 2018 and further expanded with a growth rate of 3.33 in 2019. It 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.

Confirming the firm’s value chain impact, Olatoye Fajimi, the vice president of the Lagos State Catfish and Allied Farmers Association, said the firm engages the services of technical specialists who diligently visit various farms, collaborating with the farmers to enhance the productivity of these agricultural clusters. Olam Agri Nigeria, a prominent agribusiness enterprise specialized in the food, feed, and fiber, embarked upon a strategic foray into the aquaculture field since the year 2017, channeling its investments through its feed milling unit.

Farmers were provided insights on catfish aquaculture.

Prior to that time, the sector was plagued by a number of problems, according to a statement released by the company. These included a lack of familiarity with modern fish farming techniques, a lack of access to high-quality feed, high mortality rates in hatcheries, sluggish growth rates in the nursery phase, and inconsistent harvest sizes. Because of this, the company promptly set in action the necessary mechanisms to deal with the problems. Odafi Fish Farm owner Lazarus Odafi also confirms Olam Agri’s efforts. Odafi Fish Farm is part of the Asejere Fish Farms cluster in Odogbolu, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.

He expressed that the firm made a visitation to their agricultural establishment, wherein they imparted knowledge and training pertaining to the method of pond water management, the methodology of assessing the pH level in ponds, and strategies for mitigating the squandering of feed resources. Also, they were provided insights on catfish aquaculture, particularly elucidating the way of maintaining a suitable environment for fish. These efforts, he said, have undeniably had positive effects on their business. The firm also enhanced the availability of feed, in recognition of it as a high value input in fishing.

Committed to enhancing customer satisfaction.

Furthermore, the firm plays a pivotal role in facilitating quick access to feed by localizing their production centers in crucial hubs in the country, Odafi, added. Dorcas Ogundeyi, proprietor of Triple T Farms situated in Ipaja, expressed her profound satisfaction with the exceptional conversion rates of Olam Agri feed brands. She said “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.”

Another fish farm owner, Okpapi Lucy, whose farm is in Alagbado, Lagos, explained her arduous journey until she crossed paths with an Olam Agri technical specialist who introduced her to innovative farming techniques. She underscored the firm’s commitment to enhancing customer satisfaction, adding that “Anytime I have issues on the farm and call them, they will 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 has undeniably played a significant role in helping me to sustain the continuity of my business operations.”

Many individuals in the nation engage in fish farming.

In recent times, fish farming is undoubtedly one of the most popular types of farming in Nigeria. Nowadays, if you have an enclosure and a water tank, you may now engage in farming in the sector within your premises leveraging modern fishing farming techniques. Many individuals in the nation engage in fish farming commercially because they find it more lucrative. Nonetheless, this has not yet had an effect on the livelihoods of the farmers because the sector’s development potential is being stifled by a number of obstacles.

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