Catfish farmers in Nigeria have stated that many Nigerians still prefer fresh catfish, despite calls to adopt the value addition of frozen catfish.

This preference has resulted in a reduction in sales for farmers. The farmers stated this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.

According to Mr. Anthony Hammed, the Chief Executive Officer of Simple Aquaculture and Standard Resource Farms, “The adoption of frozen method of preserving catfish is not presently practicable. Most of us in Lagos are not freezing our fish…When catfish is frozen, it does not give that original taste. Roasting or smoking the catfish in our present economy is more feasible for farmers than freezing it and not being able to sell due to taste preferences.”

Mrs. Kemi Egbucha, a fish farmer and chief executive officer of AZ Animal feeds, stated that “The rising cost of fish feed is what made some fish farmers and even the associations introduce frozen catfish. It is not that we are really ready for freezing our fish as a means of value addition…Personally, I have not been freezing my catfish, and we have observed that most people that freeze their catfish have been unable to get buyers to patronize them.”

Egbucha further added that “The frozen fish alternative is not working for catfish farmers as suggested in the first place. It is a crazy situation. Most people eating catfish want it fresh and not the frozen ones. The market for frozen fish is not really picking up but we can explore other value chains aside freezing.”

Despite calls to adopt the value addition of frozen catfish, the preference for fresh catfish in Nigeria has resulted in a reduction in sales for catfish farmers.

The adoption of frozen methods of preserving catfish is not practicable due to the loss of original taste.

While the rising cost of feed prompted the adoption of freezing catfish, it is not beneficial to the farmers as they get little or no patronage.

The frozen fish alternative is not working for catfish farmers, and exploring other value chains aside from freezing could be a better solution.

What this means?

  • The preference for fresh catfish over frozen catfish in Nigeria means that catfish farmers who rely on frozen catfish as a means of value addition may experience reduced sales, affecting their revenue and profits.
  • This could also have implications for investors in the catfish farming industry, as the market for frozen catfish may not be as lucrative as previously thought.
  • As a result, farmers and investors may need to explore other value chains or find ways to promote the benefits of frozen catfish to attract buyers and increase sales.