Sunday Elebiju, 35, grew up by the river and developed an interest in aquaculture after seeing his grandfather rear fish and his mother sell fish but it wasn’t until his cousin nudged him to consider a career in aquaculture that he took it seriously.
He went ahead to study fisheries technology and is an expert in climate-smart fisheries and aquaponic technology.
In 2013, Elebiju took a job at Tiddo Fish Farm in Benue State, Nigeria, where he managed the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) seed multiplication project. His farm was the only one that recorded over 70 per cent of its quota in producing over one million Clarias Gariepinus and Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) fingerlings among over 50 farms that participated in the project.
Bob Atwiine who nominated Elebiju said, “Fish farming was at the juvenile stage (back) then in Benue, and he had so much interaction with both fish mongers, practicing fish farmers, artisanal fishermen and prospective fish farmers.”
Elebiju has faced challenges along the way, including waking up to see his farm submerged in water in September 2022, but Atwiine said he told him he was determined to not give up but to try again.
His favourite part of his job is when he creates solutions for reducing the cost of fish production and when he provides sustainable fish production practices. “I am a creative expressionist, especially in aquaculture, and solving problems in the simplest way has always been my motivation in creating aquaculture solutions and innovations.”
To anyone looking to become an aquaculture professional, Elebiju advises to understand water quality and broodstock management.
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