In a bid to enhance opportunities and productivity in the fishery industry, various groups in the sector have merged to become the Amalgamated Association of Fish Farmers and Aquaculture of Nigeria.
The Chairman of the association, Mr Hussaini Roha, told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday that the merger became imperative in efforts to fast-track the development of the fishery sub-sector.
He said that Nigeria’s aquaculture, which was fast-growing in recent times, had maintained a steady growth of more than 50,000 metric tons between 1983 and 2003.
“The rapid growth in the aquaculture sector in the last decade has led to a geometric increase in fish production from less than 50,000 metric tons to more than 100,000 metric tons between 2004 and 2010.
“Fish farming is one of the fastest growing agricultural enterprises in the country and its contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is significant.
“It has made an appreciable impact on the nation’s economy, in terms of employment generation, poverty alleviation, foreign exchange earnings and provision of raw materials for the animal feeds industry.
“The inland water mass, estimated at about 12.5 million hectares of inland waters, is capable of producing 512,000 metric tons of fish annually.
“The country remains one of the largest consumers of fish, with demand estimated to stand at 1.4 million metric tons per annum,’’ he said.
Roha, therefore, urged that government at all levels to strive harder to grow the industry, using the Amalgamated Association of Fish Farmers and Aquaculture of Nigeria as a platform to harness the limitless opportunities in the fishery sub-sector.
He said that the merger of the groups to form the association became expedient in efforts to boost the members’ development, adding that the new association would also look after the interests of all the stakeholders in the fishery sub-sector.
He said that the association would reinforce the unity of purpose of all its constituents, with a view to strengthening the shared opportunities and tackling the perceptible challenges. (NAN)