NEW TECHNOLOGY BOOSTS LOCAL FISH INDUSTRY
The technology, which was launched on Thursday, in Lagos, was the first of its kind in Africa. Both companies that initiated and constructed the technology are indigenous.
According to stakeholders, the product came at the right time, especially when President Goodluck Jonathan has declared commitment in boosting the production of fish locally, thereby saving huge foreign exchange on importation.
Vitapur, a subsidiary of Vitafoam Nigeria Limited, constructed the FFCS, while it jointly designed the technology with Talon.
The FFCS was designed to contain 4000 fishes, solve the problem of power generation during fish culturing and need for water, as the floating cage would be installed in flowing water.
The product, according to the Managing Director of Talon, Dr. Lanre Talabi, has been test-run in Abuja, Kogi and Lagos states, with outstanding results compared to international standard. At the event, some of the fishes harvested weighed three kilograms after six months.
Also, the Managing Director of Vitapur, Mr. Oluwole Adisa, said: 'Vitapur Floating Fish Cage System will resolve the knotty problems associated with construction and maintenance of the earthen ponds, which costs have been horrendous for fish farmers in our environment.
'Our product has eliminated the costs of power generation in this era of outrageous pricing of diesel. The capital outlay for owning and maintaining the platform is little compared with the set up cost of the traditional pond system and the yield thereof.
'We have been able to prove the costing with a demonstration project on the trade fair lake. I take this opportunity to invite all stakeholders in the aquaculture business to use this product and make fortunes without stress.
'Governments should take advantage of the water resources available across the nation and utilise the product to address food insecurity in the country. This is also a product to generate employment, alleviate poverty, and empower the citizens across the nation.'
Talabi noted that Nigeria has no reason to import fish, given idle waterways, dams and lakes in Nigeria and teeming unemployed youths in the country.
'All the youths needed were encouragement, level playing field and effective technology like this (FFCS), which is designed to make fish culturing stress-free and ensure higher returns on investments.
'At present, Nigeria imports about 1.2 million tonnes valued at between $800 million and $1 billion yearly, which is a waste of foreign exchange,' he said.
He encouraged everybody, especially youths, to take up fish farming and take advantage of the newly effective product to become successful one, noting that the demand for fish in Nigeria was still not met with the huge importation.
Also, the President of Fish Farm Estate Developers Association, Mr. Egboo, lauded the product, saying that the needed succour for fish farmers has arrived. He enjoined the public and members of the association to request the product now, as in the future it might be a scarce commodity due to demand.