The National Wet Season Agricultural Performance Survey (APS) 2017 recorded serious decrease in aquaculture and artisanal fish production in some states, compared to the performance in 2016.
The survey was conducted by the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the states ministries of agriculture.
The report, however, attributed the decline in fish production to the high cost of fish feeds, poor market for fish, non-access to credit facilities as well as aquatic pests and diseases, among others.
Adamawa produced 10,000 tonnes of fish in 2017, as against 20,000 tonnes produced in 2016; while fish production in Bauchi State and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) recorded a decrease of 21.62 per cent and 71 per cent in 2017.
Kogi produced 20,955 tonnes of fish in 2017, as against 271,315.11 tonnes produced in 2016, while Akwa Ibom recorded a 46 per cent decrease, producing 96,590 tonnes of fish, as against 178,871 tonnes produced in 2016.
However, the report indicated a slight increase in fish production in Gombe, Kwara and Oyo states.
It noted that Nigeria’s per capita fish consumption of 11kg. was still lower than the global average of 21kg.
The report said that the country’s total annual fish demand was estimated at 2.7 million tonnes, with the country’s fish farmers producing only 30 percent of the figure, resulting in an annual expenditure of N125 billion on fish imports.
It listed some fish diseases that contributed to the drop in production as fin rot, abdominal swellings, fish louse, bacterial diseases, abdominal dropsy and broken head diseases, among others.
“Given the fish supply gap domestically as well as across the West African sub-region, Nigeria is capable of becoming, not only self-reliant for its aquaculture needs but also serving as an export hub for other countries in the sub-region,’’ according to the report.
The maiden agricultural performance report was officially launched on Feb. 27 as a public document to guide agriculture-based decisions in the country.
Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the document would help guide investments and government planning in the agriculture sector.