INLAND AQUACULTURE IN NIGERIA IMPROVING FINGERLINGS SUPPLY AND FISH NUTRITION FOR SMALLHOLDERS FARM
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Aquaculture is the husbandry of aquatic food
organisms. The need arose from the decrease in supply from ocean fisheries as a
result of over-fishing, habitat destruction and pollution. One of the ways to
bridge the gap between the reduced fish supply and increased world food fish
demand is through aquaculture. Africa including Nigeria has little aquaculture
tradition and has been affected by a number of external problems that have
prevented proper management and development despite investment. Aquaculture has
been demonstrated as a cheap source of protein (FAO, 1983). FAO (2002) reported
that an estimated 840 million people lack adequate access to food; and about
25% of these are in sub-Saharan Africa. As the population grows and puts more
pressure on natural resources, more people will probably become food insecure,
lacking access to sufficient amount of safe and nutritious food for normal
growth, development and an active and healthy life (Pretty,1999). A number of
countries in sub-Saharan Africa are characterized by low agricultural
production, widespread economic stagnation, persistent political instability,
increasing environmental damage, and severe poverty. Given this situation, it
is therefore pertinent to provide the poor and hungry with a low cost and
readily available strategy to increase food production using less land per
caput, and less water without further damage to the environment (Pretty et al.,
2003). In Nigeria, aquaculture development has been driven by social and
economic objectives, such as nutrition improvement in rural areas, generation
of supplementary income, diversification of income activities, and the creation
of employment. This is especially true in rural communities, where
opportunities for economic activities are limited. Only in recent years has
aquaculture been viewed as an activity likely to meet national shortfalls in
fish supplies, thereby reducing fish imports. According to Ekunwe and Emokaro
(2009) Statistics indicate that Nigeria is the largest African aquaculture
producer, with production output of over 15,489 tonnes per annum, this is
closely followed by Egypt with output of about 5,645 tonnes. Only five other
countries: Zambia, Madagascar, Togo, Kenya and Sudan produce more than 1,000
tonnes each. Ekunwe, and Emokaro (2009) further showed that Nigeria imports
about 560,000tonnes of fish estimated at about $400 million annually while
annual domestic fish supply in Nigeria stands at about 400,000 tonnes. The
fisheries sector accounts for about 2% of national G.D.P, 40% of the animal protein
intake and a substantial proportion of employment, especially in the rural
areas; the sector is a principal source of livelihood for over three million
people in Nigeria.
Many technical problems arise in the production of
fingerlings either in the pond or hatchery system. Principal among these are:
the lack of and poor management of brood stock, especially feeding and
handling; and the poor record keeping of all activities regarding induced
spawning, care of eggs, fry, feeding, and general management of fingerlings
(Atanda, 2006).The others factors that could affect production and management
as indicated by Adedeji and Owoigbe (2005) in their studies on factors
affecting catfish production and its public health implication includes the
following: capital, cost of labour, security, marketing, storage, preservation,
distribution and transportation of fish and fish products. For increase
production, adequate supply to smallholder farmers and profitability all the
factors listed must be taken care of.
Fish like other animals have a requirement for
essential nutrients in order to grow properly. In the wild, natural feeds are
available and as the fish forage for these, they are able to meet their body
needs. When fish is removed from its natural environment to an artificial one,
enough food must be supplied in order to enable them grow. Artificial diets may
be either complete or supplemental. Complete diet supply with all the
ingredients (protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals) is necessary
for the optimal growth and health of the fish. Supplemental diet do not contain
a full complement of nutrients needed but are used to help fortify the
naturally available diets. Riche and Garling (2003) reported that fish reared
in intensive tank systems requires all nutrients in a complete pelleted diet
since natural food is limited and fish cannot forage freely for natural foods.
This has the advantage of high quality and consistency of diet. The quality of
fish feeds and the hygienic levels of technological process employed during
feed formulation determine the level of risk of microbial contamination
aided by temperature. According to Zmyslowska (2000), storage conditions
especially temperature and humidity are important factors affecting microbial
quality of fish feeds. Improper storage temperature may prolong survival of the
microorganism in fish feeds by enhancing their multiplication and production of
toxic substances which may be injurious to fish. Good nutrition in fish
production system is essential to economically produce healthy, high quality
fish products. However the ever increasing cost of feed in Nigeria has greatly
increase cost of fish production due to lack of raw materials which have to be
imported and competition in the livestock industry for micro and macro nutrient
and essential amino acids used in the production of fish feed
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Inland aquaculture is an integral component of the
overall agricultural production system in Nigeria. The major species cultured
in Nigeria include tilapias, catfish and carp; however the African catfish
Clarias gariepinus is the most farmed (Agbede et al., 2003).In spite of the
great potentials of fish farming in Nigeria, Nigeria is still unable to bridge
the gap in the supply of fingerlings and fish nutrition to the smallholder
farmers which has led to reduced domestic fish production. In Nigeria, total
domestic fish production is far less than the total domestic demand. According
to Zango-Daura (2000), as cited by Rahji andTeslem Bada 2010 the country
requires 750,000 tonnes of fish while domestic production amounted to
350,000tonnes. Fish importation makes up the balance of 400,000 tonnes.
Importation is thus often used to bridge the fish supply-demand gap occasioned
by shortage in the supply of fingerlings and fish nutrition (Rahji et al;
2001). According to Zango-Daura (2000), Nigeria requires about 1.5million
tonnes of fish annually. This is what is needed to meet FAO’s recommended
minimum fish consumption rate of 12.5 Kilograms per head yearly to satisfy
basic protein needs. For now, the unsatisfied demand will continue to be met
through importation unless policy actions are geared towards improving domestic
productions by providing solution to factors limiting the supply of fingerlings
and fish nutrition to smallholder farmers.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
To examine the level of production in the inland
aquaculture sector in Nigeria.
To identify ways of improving fingerlings supply to
smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
To identify ways of improving the supply of fish
nutrition to smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
What is the level of production in the inland
aquaculture sector in Nigeria?
What are the ways of improving fingerlings supply to
smallholder farmers in Nigeria?
What are the ways of improving the supply of fish
nutrition to smallholder farmers in Nigeria?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
The outcome of this study will provide an overview
on the current level of practice of inland aquaculture by Nigerian fish farmers
with a clear method and strategies involved in the increase in the production
of fingerlings and fish nutrition that will lead to adequate supply to the
This research will be a contribution to the body of
literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic
performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research
in the subject area
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the improved methods that are
used in inland aquaculture with emphasis on fingerlings and fish nutrition
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to
impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials,
literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet,
questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously
engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down
on the time devoted for the research work.
Adedeji O.B. and Owoigbe G.A. Ogunoiki, 2005. M.
Factor Affecting Catfish Production and its Public HealthImplication in South
Western Nigeria. In Vol. II Proceedings of the X11th International Congress
onAnimal Hygiene 4-8 September 2005 Warsaw, Poland. Belgtudio Warsaw Poland.,
Agbede, S.A., O.K. Adeyemo, O.B. Adedeji, A.O.
Olaniyan and G.O. Esuruoso, 2003. Teaching of Fish andWildlife Medicine to D.
V. M Students: The Scope, Opportunities and Applications in Practice. Nig.
Vet.Journal, 24(3): 172-178.
Atanda, A.N., 2007. Freshwater fish seed resources
in Nigeria, pp. 361-380. In: M.G. Bondad-Reantaso (ed.).Assessment of freshwater
fish seed resources for sustainable aquaculture. FAO Fisheries Technical.,
501.Rome, FAO. pp: 628
Ekunwe, P.A and C.O. Emokaro, 2009. Technical
Efficiency of Catfish Farmers in Kaduna, Nigeria Journal of Applied Sciences
Research., 5(7): 802-805