The Tilapia and Aquaculture Developers Association of Nigeria (TADAN) has urged the Federal Government to include tilapia on its import ban in order to encourage local production. However, experts in the field doubt whether the country can meet local demand given that statistically, the country’s total fish demand is estimated at 3.2 million tons while domestic production from aquaculture, artisanal and industrial fisheries amounts to 1.12 million tons, The New Telegraph reported.
This fish gap made the Federal Government to renew its fish policy tailored towards reduction of fish imports into the country to develop local production. Particularly, the government’s fish policy directed all importers to plough back their investments into the country to promote commercial aquaculture in the country. TADAN expressed their dissatisfaction with the federal government’s stance to allow the continued tilapia import. TADAN National President Remi Ahmed pointed out that the omission from the official prohibition list by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) would 11SSUE8 1 SEPTEMBER 2018 send a negative fiqnal to the international community. Besides, he stressed Ihat the Nigerian tilapia farming model was currently being appreciated globally and that tilapia feed production within the country is better than the ones used in most African countries.
“Restriction of tilapia importation is not even enough, we want an outright ban because we are producing a lot and we can meet the tilapia deficit if given the right playing field,” Ahmed said. The president also disclosed that he had over 10 tonnes of farmed tilapia stored in cold rooms because the smuggled ones were crashing the market price, making it seem like locally produced ones were expensive. Ahmed claimed that while tilapia importers receive grants and other incentive from their countries, which is why when the fish is taken to Nigeria it is very cheap, they do not have any sort of support from government.
Source: Aquaculture Spectrum