Though tilapia is key to feeding a growing population like Nigeria’s, only a few farmers go into its production . The farmers complain of low yields and low profits, among others.
Tilapia is one of the popular fish in the market. It is key to feeding a growing population like Nigeria’s, which eats mainly animal protein.
Despite that tilapia farming is lucrative, many farmers complain of low yields and low profits. Poor supply chain practices also affect the quality of farmed fish available to consumers.
To solve the problems, stakeholders are pressing for support to increase the production of inexpensive, nutritious and safe tilapia.
The aim is to empower fish farmers to use cage culture to produce tilapia efficiently and sustainably. Specifically, it involved having good site management, working conditions for labourers, registering data and using good feed methods.
The idea is to improve the nutrition of people, as well as increase the income of farmers and their standard of living by having more fishes to cultivate to improve their income.
Also Nigeria needed to reduce its foreign exchange spending on imported agricultural products.
When you look at the funds expended in importing agriculture commodities and other food products, it is a lot. We can save the country some foreign exchange by improving our agriculture.By doing so, importation of food products will reduce, and there will be enough money to do other things like road construction.
Cage culture is practiced in the open water.You grow fish but confined in a cage; but the earthen pond is the aquaculture, where you have your pond and there is water seepage.
It is not enough to say you are going into tilapia farming and then you will go and find any water body to start using you have to be sure of the composition of these sites to ascertain their suitability to culture Tilapia.
In the North, irrigation should not be the only use of our water bodies because you can still use the water of the cage to do your irrigation.
There are technologies that could ease the business of cage culture; farmers should take daily records of the water temperature, turbidity, water depth, movement, bottom type, cage size, shape, and mesh and happa net size among others.
This is an opportunity for farmers to harness technologies in the fisheries sub-sector.
There are certain processes involved in cage culture, that would make tilapia cage culture easy and productive which farmers hitherto, took for granted.
This is to promote the cage culture of tilapia. There are lots of water bodies that are underutilised. Let me be fair to the northerners who use them for irrigation; but in the West, they do not use them for anything.