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Sani Ibrahim
Abubakar Tafawa Balewa,University
Agricultural economics and extension
100Level, Nigeria.
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Oluranti Sagoe-Ovievo, Lagos State Project Coordinator of the
Lagos Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and
Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project, a World
Bank-assisted project has said that the various interventions
in the aquaculture value chain was to increase the production
of Tilapia and reduce consumption of unwholesome imported
frozen fish.
She dropped the hint during a monitoring exercise of
APPEALS Projects sites in Agbowa, Igbodu and Epe areas of
Lagos.
She said that APPEALS has supported two groups of 10
members with cage culture and barrier boom in the area to
enhance their productivity, stressing that many Nigerians
consumed unwholesome imported frozen Tilapia.
She said that with the intervention, residents of the state
would have access to fresh and wholesome Tilapia fish.
Sagoe-Oviebo added that Tilapia farmers have been trained on
new technology to produce for the Nigerian market.
“We have the market for fresh Tilapia. Most people buy frozen
Tilapia that is imported and these fishes are unwholesome
because it has been preserved and kept in the cold-room for a
very long time. We have the environment and the wherewithal
to produce our own Tilapia,” she said.
The Coordinator also stated that what APPEALS is trying to do
is to show farmers that instead of just producing catfish, they
can also produce Tilapia.
“Why must we import Tilapia if we can grow it ourselves; so,
we are teaching our farmers that rather than just do Catfish, let
us start producing our own Tilapia in our open water bodies,”
she said.
She explained further that the project focused on tilapia
because an average Lagosian prefers scaly fish, stressing that
true Lagosians rarely eat catfish but prefer to eat tilapia or any
other scaly fish.
Speaking further, she said with the Federal Government’s ban
on importation of chicken, the APPEALS Project had looked at
how it could further support poultry farmers, as she explained
that there are markets for poultry and aquaculture products in
the state.
She said that poultry farmers under the initiative have been
introduced to innovations that would assist the farmers
achieve a better weight within a short period for their birds
and that the innovation is paying off for the farmers.
“The farm we visited has been able to achieve an average of
2.2kg in six weeks and I think that is a very good one. In fact,
in four weeks, they had got 1.8kg,” she said.
Some of the beneficiaries commended the Lagos state
government for the gesture stressing that the support given to
them will be judiciously used to ensure food security in the
state and the nation at large.
Some of the farms visited included God’s Own Commercial
Poultry Cams Limited in Igbodu, Epe which was supported
with nipple-fitted drinkers and pelletised feeds for broiler
production, 7,700 day-old chickens, 1078 bags of 250kg
pelletised broiler starter feeds, 539 bags of 25kg pelletised
broilers finisher feeds, medications, 11 pieces of 500-litre
water tank among others.
Also, Isokan Cooperative Agricultural Multipurpose Society in
Agbowa, was also supported with 10kg of cage culture, 15,000
male Tilapia fish and 400 bags of feeds among others.

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