NIOMR Advises Fish Farmers On Canning

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The Executive Director,
Nigeria Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), Dr Gbolaham Akande has urged catfish farmers to embrace canning as a means of preserving their products.
The Executive Director told newsmen in Lagos that many  cartfish farmers were recording losses due to poor  preservation and lack of value chain. He said canning would boost the income of the fish farmers.
“Canning the catfish will create value and increase the income of farmers. Instead of selling fishes unprocessed and at ridiculous prices,  farmers  should either smoke or can them to enhance their profit,” he said.
According to Akande, canned catfish   would compete favourably with the imported  canned products  like Geisha and Sardine and  also has the potential to become an export product for  the country.
The Head of Extension and Media Relations of NIOMR, Dr. Mabel Yarhere, said that the catfish canning innovation platform (CCIP) Project was sponsored by the Forum for African Agricultural Research with $100,000 (N19.7 million)
She said that the fund was to support research, processing, market survey, mobilisation of farmers and launching   various stage  of the project within nine months.
According to her, farmers in the South  West zone have been mobilised and empowered to embrace the project.
“We have assisted the farmers with fingerlings and feeds to boost catfish production as a step towards the success of the CCIP”, she disclosed, adding that the platform was connecting co-operative societies to  commercial banks, which would give them loans to drive their active participation in the projects.
Remarking that the CCIP project was a platform set on a stable ground and would create an open market for existing farmers and aspiring ones, she expressed joy that some of the farmers were already setting  up canneries through sponsorship by State governments.
She assured of the safety of consuming canned catfish as it has no health implications.
“We have followed  the international best practices as specified by FAO from primary production to finished products. We have worked with various local and international regulatory agencies to ensure  quality”, she said.