The Lagos State APPEALS (Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support) project has trained farmers in the aquaculture value chain on fish processing and marketing to increase productivity, strengthen capacities and provide an enabling environment for their various activities.
The training was organised by Lagos APPEALS Project in conjunction with the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) to address the issue of low productivity and marketing of fish products, which are major constraint facing the development of aquaculture industry in Lagos State.
Speaking during a three-day training for 20 fish farmers drawn from various aquaculture clusters in Lagos State on value addition and post-harvest production of fish, held at Victoria Island, the state project coordinator of the APPEALS Project, Mrs. Oluranti Sagoe-Oviebo, said the knowledge gained by the farmers would help them to minimize post-harvest losses and solve the challenge of marketing in an aquaculture value chain.
The state project coordinator said the training will enhance farmers’ productivity, increase processed output and create jobs as well as increasing the production of fish fingerlings.
She said: “We are expecting a lot of farmers to go into fish production. There are off-takers and processors that will purchase these fishes from them. Canned fishes, prawn crackers, fish crackers can be sold outside Nigeria, which can help to generate income for the nation at large.”
Head of department, fish technology and product development for the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), Dr. Olaitan Olajuigbe, said it will be a good investment for fish farmers to venture into canned fish in Nigeria.
She said: “We have been able to take the participants through value added fishing produce like fish roll, fish cake, fish crackers, fish pie and the rest of them. We went through the process of smoking and canning of fish. For the canning of fish, we are trying to encourage our investors to go into it.”
“Nigeria is the largest importer of Titus sardines. We eat it almost all the time and we do not have any industry in Nigeria that is canning fish. So, it will be a good investment if we could see someone to take it up and venture into canned fish in Nigeria so that we can start exporting fish to European countries,” she said. Nigerian Tribune