Expert seeks enabling environment to boost aquaculture farming

Aquaculture farming

A fish farming consultant, Mr Anthony Hammed, has called for the creation of an enabling environment that will boost aquaculture business in Nigeria.
Hammed, an aquaculture expert, said this recently in Lagos.
According to him, most aspiring farmers lack the motivation and an enabling environment to undertake aquaculture farming.
“The energy and requisite knowledge to build the fish farming sector are there, more people are willing to embrace agriculture but the motivation is not there.
“All the fish farmers seek from the government at the various levels is the provision of necessary incentives and an enabling environment to boost the aquaculture sector.
“The cost of everything in the sector is high and that is why most farmers are closing shop; if there is a favourable environment, the sector will increase its productivity.
“When an enabling environment is provided, more farmers will get into aquaculture and increase productivity,’’ he said.
The expert also reiterated the need for a long-term loan repayment plans for fish farmers in order to revive the sector.
Hammed said that aquaculture needed appropriate funding to expand productivity.
“In aquaculture, accessing fund is the main problem affecting the trade; the exchange rate also has taken its toll on the sector.
“Fish farmers need long-term loans to increase productivity. What banks need to understand is that they cannot get monthly returns from farmers like their other customers.
“Aquaculture requires a gestation period that should be completed before the farmer can conveniently pay off his loans.
“With appropriate funding and long-term loan repayment schedule, farmers will be able to thrive,’’ he said.
Hammed noted that high cost of feeds had made the sector “survival of the fittest.”

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