Fish farmers in Lagos, operating under the Lagos State Catfish and Allied Association of Nigeria (LASCAFAN), have received a significant boost from the Lagos State Government.
Through the Agro-Productivity, Processing, Enhancement, and Livelihood Support (APPEALS) project, a World Bank-funded initiative, the government has supported the association by delivering a blast freezer.
This freezer aims to preserve catfish and mitigate losses, ultimately fostering increased production within the sector.
Addressing the longstanding issue of post-harvest losses in the catfish subsector, the stakeholders in the Ikorodu division of Lagos State expressed their enthusiasm for the newly launched blast freezer.
They highlighted the challenges faced by fish farmers regarding post-harvest losses and pricing concerns, stating that this project signifies a pivotal development for the industry.
At the commissioning of the LASCAFAN Ikorodu blast centre and the launch of frozen catfish, Abisola Olusanya, the Commissioner for Agriculture, emphasized that the project’s primary objective was to promote value addition within the Fish Value Chain Enterprise.
Olusanya outlined the staggering demand for fish in Lagos State, which boasts a population of approximately 25 million people.
The state government in a statement, said:
”The annual requirement stands at 425,009 tonnes, aligning with the World Health Organization’s recommended intake of 17kg of fish protein per person annually. However, fish production is about 198,706 tonnes annually, resulting in a substantial deficit.
”One of the critical challenges fish farmers face is the need for more preservative methods, leading to simultaneous sales and significant post-harvest losses.
”With the introduction of this new technology, sales are anticipated to increase. Moreover, there is an expectation of a surge in distribution channels, paving the way for additional employment opportunities within the sector.”