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Study analyses how Nigeria can meet its fish production targets

May 13, 2022  By Hatchery International staff

Researchers from the University of Stirling’s Institute of Aquaculture studied scenario analysis to understand how Nigeria can achieve its ambitious target of producing 2.5 million tonnes of farmed fish annually.

Nigeria, the second largest aquaculture producer in Africa, currently produces 300,000 tonnes of farmed fish annually. In 2017, the government set a goal to reach 2.5 million tonnes in production capacity by 2035. Suleiman Yakubu, PhD reseracher at the UK-based research institute said the country still has a long way to go.

The research was funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. The paper, “Scenario analysis and land use change modelling reveal opportunities and challenges for sustainable expansion of aquaculture in Nigeria”, is published in Aquaculture Reports.

The study used a scenario analysis method, interviewing stakeholders to identify four major constraints: cost and availability of fish feed, land use, policy intersection, and research investment. Scenario analysis has been used to explore the potential of aquaculture on global and regional scales, but not yet on a national level in Africa.


“Our modelling shows that if things continue as they are, Nigeria will see only marginal development of its aquaculture sector in comparison to where it aspires to be,” said Yakubu. However, the study discovered one scenario tested which allowed Nigeria to achieve its goal.

Yakuba said the study’s first recommendation is to develop local feed resources. More than half of the country’s feed supply is imported, making it expensive and inefficient.

Secondly, the study outlines the importance of promoting aquaculture to be part of land use classification in the country. This would allow aquaculture to be included in land use zoning plans and designate expansion areas for larger production systems. Currently, about 80 per cent of fish farming in Nigeria is in small-scale ponds in urban areas.

Other government policies must also be taken into account, including import policy, water use and poverty alleviation.

Lastly, Yakuba recommends a robust investment in aquaculture research.

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