The Kwara State Fish Farmers Association (KWAFFA) has raised concern over the rise in the cost of fish feed amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The fish farmers, who seek government intervention, said they have observed increases in the prices of feed due to scarce forex and other factors.
This was contained in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, signed by Buhari Sulyman, the acting chairman of KWAFFA.
“The sudden rise in the cost of feed is a case for concern at this period. It is observed in recent times that most importers of feeds have suddenly increased their prices citing scarce forex, among others,” Mr Sulyman said.
The fish farmers said the rise in the cost of a major input would lead to a spontaneous increase in the prices of fish in the market, with huge implications on the nutrition of the vulnerable citizens in the country.
“This development is worrisome and should be looked into immediately by the government as this will impact negatively on the agric value chain. By implication, the cost of fishes will rise astronomically and we believe this will be a big burden on the Nigerian citizens at this period,” the statement reads.
Mr Sulyman appealed to the federal government to ease access to foreign exchange for fish farmers and other farmers through the Central Bank of Nigeria and other windows. He also wants the government to provide waivers to fish feed importers so that Nigerian farmers can get fish feeds at lower rates.
He said the government should help “Provide soft intervention credit facilities to fish farmers through their various associations in this regard and make adequate waivers or mobility passes for the transportation of fish and fish products across the country.”
“This we believe will not jeopardize the efforts being put in place by the federal government to mitigate the effects of the hardship the pandemic may cost us,” Mr Sulyman said.