An Akure-based fish farmer, Mr Lanre Adekunle, has lamented the high cost of fish feeds.
Adekunle started his fish farm after benefitting from a training and empowerment programme of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)/ Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) project.
He has 12 fish ponds at Osi in Akure North Local Government Area of Ondo State and plans to expand to crocodile farming.
Speaking with newsmen during a tour of the farm, Adekunle said he was trained and empowered in 2021 by IFAD/LIFE-ND Project and that the experience had changed his life.
“I was trained and empowered in 2021 and I was later elevated to the status of an incubator, making me to train five others in a hands-on experience of fish farming.
“In fact, with the level of empowerment I got from the IFAD/ LIFE-ND, I am set to add crocodile farming to my farm soon.
“People think that the IFAD/LIFE-ND Project is a flash-in-the-pan, but the contrary is the case.
“I am now a fish farmer; no more idleness, I get to work and make more money,’’ he said.
Adekunle enjoined the government and IFAD/LIFE-ND to regulate the price of fish feed so as to make the business more profitable.
According to him, the price of fish feed is exorbitant and needs to be brought down so as not to impact negatively on the fish farming value chain.
“One of the major challenges we are facing is the high cost of fish feed and we want the state government, IFAD and the Federal Government to help us look into this.
Two other beneficiaries of the IFAD LIFE-ND project, Mr Opeyemi Akintade and Miss Pelumi Olaseinde, appreciated their empowerment.
They, however, called on the government to assist fish feed producers with a view to lowering the cost of feeds.
They also want the government to provide soft loans for youths to enable more of them to go into farming.
Mrs Bola Ajibade, the State Rural Institution Gender and Unit Officer of the IFAD programme, encouraged those currently being trained by the incubators not to be determined to surmount challenges.
She enjoined them to be focused and assured that they would reap gains by so doing.
Ajibade expressed delight at the outcome of the training and empowerment witnessed in farms visited. NAN