By Mike Adeyemi
The Kwara Fish Farmers Association has revealed that about 20 tonnes of catfish valued at N20 million naira is produced and sold daily in Kwara State.
The association’s Assistant Secretary, Jimoh Ahmed disclosed this during a chat with our reporter on Saturday in Ilorin, the state capital.
According to him, “Kwara fish farmers produce 20 tonnes of catfish amounting to N20 million naira daily. Fish farming is a lucrative business.
“At present, Kwara has been named the highest producer of catfish in Nigeria. Our business activities have caught attention of Kwara State Government as it has recognised our impact on the Kwara economy.
“Kwara fish industry is the third largest employers of labour in the state. The value chain of the business is wide. At least about 20 tonnes of catfish worth N20 million naira leaves Kwara State daily.
“In Kwara registered fish producers are over 500 in number and each of us have a minimum of 20 workers under our payroll. Our major market is Abuja,” he added.
He, however, said that the industry faces lots of challenges in the state and has since tabled it before the Kwara State Government.
“Our challenges became worse with the aftermath of the lockdown. The cost of production is high. Most of the feeds are from the north.
“The Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq recently came here to access how we operate. He asked us what our needs were and said we should put it in writing for him, which we have done.
“Parts of what we discoursed with the governor is the bad state of our roads. We also requested for light in the farm and we seek for soft loans to boost our business,” Ahmed stressed.
Ahmed, however said the eviction notice given to members by the Kwara State Ministry of Water Resource had been resolved.
“The Kwara State Water Cooperation came to us and asked us to vacate the farm as they alleged that the water waste discharged from our pond find its way to the Dam causing risk to people’s health.
“We were at the Ministry on Friday and the issue has been solved. They asked us to dig a reservoir for our waste water and get filters for it.”
By Mike Adeyemi