Executive Director of the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), Dr Gbolahan Akande, has urged catfish farmers to embrace canning as a means of preserving their products.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that many catfish farmers were recording losses due to poor preservation and lack of value chain.
According to him, canning will boost the income of the fish farmers.
“Canning the catfishes will create value and increase the income of farmers.
“Instead of selling fishes unprocessed and at ridiculous prices, farmers should either smoke or can them to enhance their profit.
“Canned catfish will compete favourably with the imported canned products like Geisha, Sardine and Titus.
“It also has the potential to become an export product for the country,’’ he said.
Head of Extension and Media Relations of the NIOMR, Dr Mabel Yarhere, said the Catfish Canning Innovation Platform (CCIP) project was sponsored by the Forum for African Agricultural Research with $100,000 (N19.7 million).
She said the fund was to support research, processing, market survey, mobilisation of farmers and launching various stages of the project within nine months.
According to her, farmers in the South West zone have been mobilised and empowered to embrace the project.
“We have assisted the farmers with fingerlings and feeds to boost catfish production as a step towards the success of the CCIP.
“We are also connecting their cooperative societies to commercial banks, which will give them loans to drive their active participation in the project.