New feed mill for Nige­rian farm­ers

Fish Farmer - - News -

NIGE­RIAN fish farm­ers will have bet­ter ac­cess to for­mu­lated feeds with a new feed plant, built by Sin­ga­pore based Olam In­ter­na­tional and opened in Septem­ber.

Olam said it is sup­ply­ing a wide range of com­pet­i­tively priced and spe­cially for­mu­lated, fully float­ing fresh­wa­ter fish feeds for more than 15,000 lo­cal farm­ers in Nige­ria.

Lo­cated in Kwara State, the new fish feed fa­cil­ity will boost feed sup­ply to help meet ris­ing de­mand in Nige­ria for fish, which is cur­rently around two mil­lion tonnes per year.

Olam’s two fish feed brands - Blue Crown (stan­dard range) and Aqualis (pre­mium range) - are tai­lored to the needs of the African cat­fish sec­tor, but the com­pany is en­cour­ag­ing the di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion of Nige­ria’s aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try be­yond cat­fish.

This in­cludes sup­port­ing small to medium and large scale farms in breed­ing and farm­ing other trop­i­cal fishes and ma­rine va­ri­eties.

To drive im­prove­ments in fin­ger­ling qual­ity through bet­ter brood­stock man­age­ment, pre­ven­tion of in-breed­ing and im­prov­ing growth po­ten­tial, Olam’s R&D fa­cil­ity is be­ing set up in part­ner­ship with Nanyang Tech­no­log­i­cal Univer­sity of Sin­ga­pore.

Fu­ture fish con­sump­tion in Nige­ria faces sup­ply chal­lenges from overfishing, wa­ter pol­lu­tion and global warm­ing. Pro­duc­tion from nat­u­ral habi­tats is ex­pected to stag­nate or even de­crease.

Fish farm­ing is there­fore es­sen­tial to meet the gap and re­duce the need for im­ports, now be­tween 700,000 to 800,000 tonnes an­nu­ally, re­sult­ing in a for­eign ex­change out­flow in ex­cess of US$1.0 bil­lion.

One of the bar­ri­ers to in­creas­ing aqua­cul­ture pro­duc­tion is read­ily avail­able, af­ford­able and good qual­ity float­ing fish feed, which ac­counts for more than 70 per cent of the lo­cal farm­ers’ pro­duc­tion costs.

The Kwara mill has an ini­tial ca­pac­ity of 75,000 tonnes of fish feed per an­num that can be scaled up.

Fur­ther­more, Olam’s qual­i­fied aqua tech­ni­cians will train farm­ers on best prac­tices in fish farm­ing, and it has cre­ated in­tern­ships for around 100 vet­eri­nary, aqua­cul­ture and agron­omy grad­u­ates who will re­ceive hands-on learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties at the com­pany’s state-of-the-art fa­cil­i­ties over a two-year pe­riod.

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