Researchers have analyzed how Nigeria can achieve its goal of producing 2.5 million tonnes of farmed fish annually, and believe that their work could provide similar insights in other countries.
Experts from the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture (UK) used scenario analysis for the first time at national level for aquaculture in Africa to examine the changes required to meet Nigeria’s targets set in 2017.
Fish is one of the cheapest sources of protein and already makes a significant contribution to feeding Nigeria’s growing population, but the current production of farmed fish is about 300,000 tons per year. Industry is often overlooked compared to agriculture – the cornerstone of Nigeria’s economy – and its main exports, crude oilsaid the researchers.
Suleiman Yakubu, Ph.D. Researcher at the Department of Aquaculture says that “Nigeria is the second largest producer of farmed fish in Africa after Egypt, but we still have some way to go before we can reach the 2.5 million tonnes of aquaculture potential that the government has estimated. We wanted to answer the question, is this achievable in 2035? And if so, how can this be done in a sustainable way? “
The researchers began by using stakeholder interviews to identify four priority constraints: cost and availability of fish feed; land use; political intersection and research investment.
They then used scenario analysis – a mix of qualitative and quantitative modeling principles – to assess which combinations of factors would bring Nigeria towards its goal.
Sir. Yakubu says that “Only one of the many scenarios tested allowed Nigeria to reach its potential in relation to the critical factors.”
“Firstly, it is necessary to improve farmers’ access to quality fish feed through the development of local feed resources. At present, more than half of the fish feed is imported, which is prohibitively expensive and inefficient.”
“Second, the promotion of aquaculture to be part of the land use classification in Nigeria will make it possible to include the activity in land use plans and designate extension areas for larger production systems. Currently, about 80 percent of fish farming in Nigeria is in small-scale ponds in urban areas and urban areas, with no room for expansion and no way to monitor it. “
“Thirdly, the aquaculture sector interacts with several other policy areas – such as import policy, land use, water consumption and poverty reduction – so these crossings need to be incorporated into the planning.”
“Lastly, investing in research is crucial to better connect researchers with the aquaculture industry, to increase productivity and yields while improving our understanding of the effects of climate change. All of these would ultimately reduce the cost of aquaculture production in the country. “
Planning for change
Scenario analysis has been used to explore the potential of aquaculture on a global and regional scale, but not yet at a national level in Africa, which researchers say is more useful to understand and plan for the changes that need to happen.
“Our modeling shows that if things continue as they are, Nigeria will only see a marginal development of its aquaculture sector relative to where it strives to be,” Yakubu said.
Professor Trevor Telfer, Ph.D. supervisor of the research, says that “aquaculture is growing fast, just like the people of the world, and can offer a sustainable way to feed people. Using data in this way to model scenarios offers an innovative method for governments and industry to plan together for the sustainable expansion of complex sectors such as aquaculture. “
The magazine is published in Aquaculture reports.
Suleiman O. Yakubu et al., Scenario analysis and modeling of land use change reveal opportunities and challenges for sustainable aquaculture expansion in Nigeria, Aquaculture reports (2022). DOI: 10.1016 / j.aqrep.2022.101071
University of Stirling
Citation: Study Examines How Nigeria Can Achieve Its Fish Production Target (2022, May 6) Retrieved July 18, 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-05-explores-nigeria-fish-production.html
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