Nigeria’s Annual Fish Import hits 2.2m tonnes.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe said Nigeria currently imports 2.2 million tonnes of fish while it produces 1.1 million tonnes against the total demand of 3.6 million tonnes annually.
Umakhihe who disclosed this in Abuja at the Independent Dialogue on the Transformation and Future of Aquatic Food Systems in Nigeria, said 10 million Nigerians are actively engaged in primary and secondary fisheries operations, and the contribution of fisheries to the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is about 4.5 per cent.
While noting that the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari is to grow Nigeria’s agricultural sector to achieve a hunger-free nation through agriculture that drives income growth, accelerates food production to address the food and nutritional security, he said the Ministry has played a key role in addressing aquatic food systems which include “backward integration policy of Government to encourage fish importers to go into commercial aquaculture.
“Fish is one of the cheapest and predominant sources of animal protein in Nigeria. It accounts for about 50 per cent of total animal protein consumed in Nigeria with per cent consumption of 17.5 Kg per person peryear,”Umakhihe said.
- “In this regard, the total demand for fish is 3.6 million tons annually while Nigeria is producing 1.1million tons from all sources (Aquaculture, artisanal and Industrial sectors) leaving a deficit of about 2.5 million tons to be supplemented by importation”, he noted.
Speaking, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhalji Mohammed Sabo Nanono said despite the potential impacts of the fisheries and aquaculture resources, the sector is however confronted with numerous challenges including high cost of inputs and use of unimproved breeds in aquaculture. More at: The Nation.