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Fish farmers lament persistent high cost of feeds

By on August 26, 2013

Fish farmers have decried the continuous increase in cost of fish feeds in the market while the market price of fish falls yearly, leading to exit of many fish farms in Nigeria.

According to them, the dependence on imported feeds has stimulated wide price fluctuation, leading to price inflation of feedstuff.

Presently, a bag of Coppen feeds, an imported feed, cost N4,000 to N5,200 per bag as compared to the price of a live fish, sold for about N480.

Government only regulates the commodity markets through import controls and price support through subsidies or direct government purchases and other policy instruments designed to support the feed manufacturing industry.

Under the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act, the manufacture of animal feeds was placed on the list of pioneer industries; this ensures a five-year tax holiday to new feed millers entering the industry and aimed at stimulating investment in the animal feed mill industry.

Prices are fairly consistent with product quality and for some items pegged to those specifications that are most likely to vary, for instance the moisture levels for grains or crude protein levels for fish meals.

The larger feed mills maintain laboratories that check raw material quality and monitor the feed manufacturing process, to help maintain the quality of feedstuff.

Importation of feeds, according to fish farmers, is the major cause of the increasing price of fish feeds in the Nigerian market, whereas importers of feeds attribute the price increase to the corrupt nature of the Nigerian law enforcement agents.

Lagos State president of Catfish Association of Nigeria, Rotimi Omodehin, disclosed that the high cost of feeds have hindered many farming business and closed many farming enterprises.

Omodehin urged the government to invest in animal feeds to help improve the productivity level of farmers.

“Building of feeds mill will help the farmers, and farmers are willing to patronise government feeds because individual retailer’s price is killing the farmers,” he said.

He reiterated that subsidy in agriculture is very important and removal by government is to the detriment of the average farmer.

A livestock farmer, Temitope Odetola, said the government has neglected livestock farming and little or no funds are made available for the farmers.

He emphasised that the small-scale farmers find it hard to get capital and bank loan is out-of-reach for them.

“Nigerian agriculture has been neglected for oil, especially livestock, and it is so surprising that Nigerians consume high rate of livestock. Even the financial sector is not easing our stress; the so called loan at 27 per cent is not for small and medium scale farmers,” Odetola explained.

He advised the government to promote livestock more against frozen foods which endanger the people’s health because of its method of preservation.

A fish feed merchant, Mrs. Funmilayo Ademola, explained that although there are local producers of fish feeds, the market sometimes experiences artificial scarcity of feeds.

This, Ademola said, is as a result of high Customs duty and devaluation of the naira.

“Imported feed was like a breakthrough for fish farmers when it was discovered; its nutritional value and its floating nature stands it out from the locally-produced feeds, although the price reflects on the poor farmers,” she added, disclosing that presently no Nigerian company produces artmia feeds.

She urged the government to create a central market for farmers, to help regulate price of farm produce.

Representative of Fishmongers Farm Limited, Gbengba Ogunbona, said corrupt Customs officers make business difficult for importers of feeds.

Explaining that different excuses are given by Customs men to exploit importers, he cited where a Customs officer demanded N40,000 after duty charges.

Ogunbona stressed that expenses incurred by importers reflect on price of feeds, and most feeds importers live in a shabby way as compared to importers of other commodities.

 

 

 

[Daily Independent]

  • Mohammed Abubakar

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  • Mohammed Abubakar

    QUALITY LOCAL CATFISH FEEDS AVAILABLE AT NGN2,500 PER 15KG BAG. Call_ 07035907330. Or Whatsapp: 08103953855.

    To make a lot of profit in your Catfish farming business, you need to cut the cost of feeding your fishes and Catfish grown at high densities requires a nutritionally complete feed to produce good growth and maintain good health. I’m a local manufacturer and distributor of high quality Catfish Feed in Nigeria. I distribute to all parts of the country to Sub-distributors, Wholesalers, Retailers and End-users. To place order Call_ 07035907330. Whatsapp: 08103953855. Visit Us @ No 3, Okele Street, Ogbogbo Ijebu North/East, Ogun State.

    I’m a catfish farmer myself, hence, my floating and sinking pellets are properly prepared with a 58%(CP)crude protein good and well balance fish feed formulation. Available sizes are 0.2mm to 10mm suitable for juveniles to maturity, we supply Nationwide to your farm or doorstep at an affordable price of NGN 2,500 per 15kg.

    The so-called foreign feeds are just reaping fish farmers off, the ingredients required to manufacture high quality feed are readily available here in Nigeria hence my Catfish feed has a high quality energy source required for growth and maintenance of body tissue resulting in improved weight gains because it is fortified with balanced vitamins, minerals and amino acids plus Stabilized Vitamin C required for better metabolism, skeletal formation, nerves, body fluid regulation and enzymes to yield maximum Productivity.©

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