By Mercy Omoike
Lagos, June 2, 2021 A fish farmer, Mr Okon Amah, has lamented over the growing cost of fish farming owing to inconsistent rainfall in the country.
Amah, an expert in artisanal fish farming, spoke with newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos.
According to him, the poor rainfall in 2021 had really affected fish farming including earthen and tarpaulin ponds.
Amah said fish farmers now had to constantly change the water in their fish ponds due to the inadequate rainfall.
He said they had to change their pond water frequently because of the heated environment adding that fishes did not thrive well in warm water.
“Farmers now have to change the water in the fish pond at least two to three times weekly to keep the fish healthy and avoid losses.
“When the water gets too warm for the fish, they will not be as productive as they should. So it becomes necessary to always keep the fish hydrated with fresh water to preserve them.
“Now, we spend more to pump water constantly for the fish ponds; this has made the cost of production double.
“We spend more on water now because the basic principle of fish farming is ‘the fresher and more volume of water, the healthier the fish.
“If enough water is not available and if there is no consistent rainfall, the cost of producing fish increases and so does the market price of fishes.
“ The major reason for this rainfall inconsistency is the current climate change realities. We need to reduce our carbon emission to slow down the depletion of the ozone layer.
“The government can help local fish farmers through relevant environmental and meteorological agencies providing timely information on climate change realities.
“The government can also help by subsidising some costs of farm inputs so that the cost of food do not keep soaring due to the extra cost incurred during farming activities.
“By doing this, the cost of food production will go down, there will be bumper harvest, and we will be able to tackle the looming food insecurity,” Amah explained.