Lagos State Government, through its Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project, says it is targeting over 180, 000 metric tonnes of tilapia fish in 2021.
The State Coordinator of the project, Mrs Ranti Sagoe-Oviebo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos that the project was helping in bridging the deficiency gap in the fish value chain.
Sagoe-Oviebo said that the project had excelled through cage culture in open waters thereby exposing many fish farmers to the huge potentials in the value chain.
She said that the project had achieved a major breakthrough in deploying all techniques in the cultivation of tilapia fish through the cage culture in open waters.
“ In 2020, we did 84,000 metric tons per annum in two circles. From January to June, we did 42,000 and same from July to December.
“In 2021, we are doing 110 cages. We are having 60 cages with 1,500 fish each, that is 90,000 metric tonnes for a circle in six months.
“By July, we will be starting another circle of 60 cages immediately, to December.
“A lot of people are now into cage culture. Cage culture in open waters had opened the eyes of many of our farmers that the potentials are there and they have seen that it is double.
“We were able to get some tilapia fish at 2.1 kilogrammes in seven months. This has been a major breakthrough for us in APPEALS project Lagos.
“By the end of 2021, we will be having well over 180,000 metric tons of tilapia alone in Lagos State,” she said.
Sagoe-Oviebo said that the project had seen a major breakthrough in tilapia fish and with huge potentials for export market.
She said that the sector had attracted export market, adding that partners were already requesting for truck load of tilapia fish for export.
According to her, customers from Seme border are already purchasing fish from Epe and Badagry area of the state.
“One interesting thing is that right now, fish is a big potentials for export market because some people have come to us that they want to meet our farmers, and want container load of tilapia fish every month to export.
“The people from Seme border had been coming to patronise the Afowo group in Badagry.
“I see Lagos, Nigeria in the next couple of years doing great things in fish value chain,” the state project coordinator said.
Sagoe-Oviebo said that the APPEALS project was also doing a lot in the catfish farming but because tilapia was preferred specie in Lagos, a lot of people were really accepting it.
She added that the state would not rest on its oars in bridging the fish deficiency in the country.
“For catfish presently, we are doing almost 500 collapsible ponds and in each, we are looking at 1000 fish. That’s about 500,000 fish,” he said.
According to him, this statistics for the regular farmers is in addition to women and youth, where over 600 farmers would be empowered in the aquaculture sector.
“For the women and youths, we are looking at about 2,000 fish per each beneficiary,” she said.