• Nigerian catfish farmers are facing rising costs of production due to the naira scarcity challenge and a drop in sales.
  • Some farmers have been forced to leave the trade due to these challenges, and many are experiencing low demand for their products.
  • The high cost of feed materials, delays in supply, and increased mortality rates on farms are among the challenges discouraging local fish farmers from the trade.

Catfish farmers in Nigeria said the naira scarcity challenge has contributed to rising costs of production, a development that has forced some farmers to opt to leave the trade.

The Chief Executive Officer of Simple Aquaculture and Standard Resource Farms, Mr Anthony Hammed, disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.

He added that farmers experienced a drop in sales during the naira scarcity.

Reduced sales: They said Catfish farmers experienced low patronage due to the cash crunch across the country occasioned by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cashless policy and naira redesign. He said:

  • “The issue of low demand of catfish in recent times is of real concern to us presently.
  • “The people are no longer buying catfish, fishes are just in the water consuming feeds and increasing our cost of operation.
  • “Although we accept mobile transfers we noticed that sales just dropped all of a sudden since the Naira scarcity.
  • “Even now, we are slashing our prices just to sell our produce despite the fact that the cost of ingredients and fish feed is skyrocketing on a daily basis.”

Increased costs: Hammed added that farmers had to reduce prices despite the high cost of feed materials, citing Groundnut paste (GNC) soya, and fish meal are getting very expensive and people are not buying.

  • “Just to sell we have to drop the price, we do not break even but we still have a little margin of profit with which we keep body and soul together and to be in business,” he said.

Mrs Kemi Egbucha a farmer revealed that a lot of farmers had closed their farms due to low patronage.

  • “In fish farming presently, a lot of farmers are opting out of the trade due to increment in fish feed.
  • “Most times when fish farmers order feed from companies, they have their supplies delayed for up to a month which in turn results in losses.
  • “There are a lot of challenges discouraging local fish farmers from the trade. Not having enough feed results in increased mortality on the farms.

She added many fish farmers are fed up with the business climate right now, noting that they used to buy a bag of fish feed for N11,000 before but now it goes for as high as N20,600 per bag. “Even at that we still experience low demand” she added.

In case you missed it: The Nigerian poultry industry says it lost over N30 billion amid cash scarcity in the country.

The Association of poultry farmers have therefore raised the alarm that the sector could be on the brink of collapse. The poultry industry contributes about 25% of Nigeria’s Agricultural Gross Domestic Product and employs over 25 million Nigerians directly and indirectly.