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Catfish supply declining in Abuja

The supply of catfish is declining in and around the FCT as many processors are short of supply. During the weekend, many women who make…

The supply of catfish is declining in and around the FCT as many processors are short of supply.

During the weekend, many women who make a living through roasted fish, could not find supply to keep on with the business, which many have been doing for many years.

Women, who spoke with Daily Trust in Mararaba and Masaka in Karu LGA of Nasarawa State, said that for a while the product had been in low supply due to suppliers running out, and that the sizes were also small.

According to Mangwut Joshua, a farmer who shut down his fish farm in Uke, along the Abuja-Keffi highway, nearly all the farms in the area have also gone out of business due to the high cost of feeds and electricity.

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“I can tell you, from Masaka up to Keffi, many fish farms that I know have closed down. Those who closed down last year never came back. This year, it became worse, and I had to shut down too. In fact, I lost close to N900,000 in the three ponds I was operating.

“If many farmers closed down their farms, tell me, where do you expect the supply to come from? And if nothing changes, those struggling to stay alive will also fold up and fish will be very expensive for an average Nigerian,” he said.

One of the suppliers, Ali Sani, who used to go from farm to farm to buy and supply to women in the roasting business, told Daily Trust that most of the farms he bought from were no longer operational.

“Now I buy from the Kado Fish Market in Life Camp, Abuja, but even the supply there, which comes mostly from Ibadan, is also affected because of the cost of transport, which has gone up significantly,” he said.

“The collapse of fish, and even chicken farms, will affect us badly,” Mrs Cecelia Yakubu, who roasts fish and chicken in Mararaba, said.

“If the supply is low, prices will be high and very few people will buy and this will affect us. It is this business that I have been doing since 2014. But since the beginning of this year, I hardly make anything (money) because the prices keep going up and the number of customers coming to buy fish nowadays is very small,” she added.

The rising cost of feeds has put livestock farmers in the poultry and fishing industries under a lot of strain in recent years.

Daily Trust reports that as the costs of electricity and transportation, which are essential for the existence of farms, rise by more than 200 per cent, causing many farmers to close down, the loss of subsidy in May made the situation for many farmers worse.

 

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