Fish farming is an important livelihood activity for millions of Nigerian families. The demand for fish offers an opportunity for more fish farmers to engage in this lucrative activity or for existing fish producers to expand operations. Without training and technical support, however, the opportunity remains untapped. The USAID-funded John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) program is working to change that.
Fishouse Aquaculture, Ltd., is a fish production enterprise that provides fish fingerlings, juveniles and feed to hundreds of Nigerian families. Although the company has achieved some success, it has lacked the technical capacity to produce higher quality stock in sufficient quantity to meet demand. Recognizing its own untapped potential, Fishouse staff requested support from F2F.
Winrock International sent F2F volunteer Harvey Pine to work with Fishouse staff on brood stock management, record keeping techniques, operational improvements and a sustainability plan for a commercial hatchery. At the end of his trip, Pine said, “I think the staff at Fishouse has been reinvigorated [and] I believe this will contribute to narrowing the gap between the supply and demand of fingerlings.”
As a result of Pine’s assistance, Fishouse increased production of catfish fingerlings and juveniles by 95 percent. Before the training, Fishouse was producing 50,000 fingerlings monthly with a 60 percent mortality rate. Now, Fishouse produces 200,000 catfish fingerlings monthly with about a 5 percent mortality rate. In addition, the company now provides services to its customers resulting in $19,000 in additional income each month (a 400 percent increase).
“We have been making too many mistakes and wasting too much money,” said Dr. Ladan Aliyu, Fishouse’s managing director. “We have benefited a lot from Dr. Pine.”