Dr Mustapha Momoh, the new National President of Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFFAN), has pledged commitment to developing aquaculture industry and ensuring Catfish exportation.
He said that the association would work with regulatory agencies such as National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control and Standard Organisation of Nigeria to remove impediments to fish exportation.
He said the association would also work with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to ensure removal of impediments to exportation of Nigeria’s fish products.
He added that the association would ensure opening of international market for Nigeria’s fish products.
The CAFFAN president said that, with more efforts, Nigeria would be self-sufficient in fish production.
Momoh said that the association would exploit opportunities offered by Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, Food and Agricultural Organisation and World Trade Organisation (WTO), among others, to improve Nigeria’s aquaculture industry.
The new president added that CAFFAN would ensure production, processing and packaging of fish by farmers to meet international standards to avoid restriction and rejection in the international market.
He said that the body would ensure that its members would be equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills in fish feed production using available resources.
Momoh said that the move would prevent Nigeria from becoming tied to the throats of foreign feed merchants and producers milking fish farmers.
“CAFFAN members must have knowledge of best practices in fish farming.
“This involves knowledge of feed formulation and other cheaper alternative sources of feeds, to mitigate huge expenditure on imported feeds and reduce operational costs of farming.
“We must ensure that the three states that are centres of aquaculture in Nigeria – Bayelsa, Lagos and Rivers – are able to raise their production capacities to reduce drastically or even ensure elimination of Nigeria’s fish importation in the next five years.
“We shall ensure that Federal Government’s policies will favour aquaculture.
“CAFFAN will interface with state governments, particularly the high fish producing states, on structuring of incentives and infrastructure that will accelerate investment in aquaculture and create employment opportunities for the youth,” he said.
He said that CAFFAN would advocate that fish farmers should embrace collegiate export template as obtainable in emerging economies such as Thailand, to enable them to earn more revenues from investments in aquaculture.
Momoh said that his administration would design an advocacy plan to address underlying issues with the overall objective of stimulating demand for improved smoking kiln technology for healthy consumption of smoked and dried catfish.
He said that the plan would reduce harmful practices in the fish value chain.
“CAFFAN will expose its members to the need to diversify massively into other aquaculture products that are also in huge demand globally, and not focus only on catfish species.
“As our economy is at the hands of agriculture, we need to maintain our integrity.
“We need to start building the economy of the future based on skills, talents, education and application of technology.
“We should know that for this country to be great, the forces of global competition and technological change must be taken seriously to compete on the basis of our skill and ability in aquaculture.
“I will be striving for a brighter future for all fish farmers by implementing favourable policies and principles and ensuring proper consultation that will directly affect outputs of fish farmers.”
Momoh promised that his administration would carry out all agenda in the interest of all and the industry.
“I shall be for all fish farming families and not for a set,” he said.
He thanked his predecessor, Chief Rotimi Oloye, and his team for laying a strong foundation and building a legacy for him to improve on.
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