As a result of current happenings in the country, catfish farmers, under the aegis of Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFFAN), have announced new prices for their produce. The farmers say that the adjustment in price was inevitable as end users rip off their sweat because they have no control over the market price of their product. The National President of CAFFAN, Dr. Momoh Mustapha, said that as of today, the price of fish, five years ago, is still the same, and that fish feed keeps increasing on a weekly basis and it is not the fault of the feed manufacturer, noting that the cost of input had gone up by over 300 per cent.
According to him, all tradesmen had adjusted the price of their businesses, but fish prices still remain the same. “Today, a crate of egg that was N600 per crate five years ago, now sells for not less than N2,500 per crate anywhere in the country. We cannot continue to suffer in the midst of plenty. Last year, a natural disaster swept over 40,000,000 fishes across the country worth over N50 billion causing over 7,000 to 8,000 fish farmers either out of business or in serious debt. He said, after careful study and analysing the cost of raising and producing fish across the country, there is the need to adjust prices of the products, saying that the farm gate price for fresh table-size fish, less than a kilogram, would now sell for N1,500 per kg while big size would sell for N1800 per kg.
For fish seedlings, he said fingerlings, which is 3 to 5cm in length with a weight of 2 to 3 grammes, would now sell for N15 per fingerlings of purebred, and N20 per fingerlings of hybrid. For juveniles, 8 to 12cm length with a weight of 7 to 10 grammes, would now sell for N45 per juvenile fish. “It is possible to have an addition of N50 or N100 to the table-size or N2 to N5 to the seedling depending on the location, but not less than the recommended price”, as he warned farmers. Mustapha stated further that Tilapia table-sizes should not be sold for less than N2,000 per kg. Speaking further, he said this act is necessary due to increase in the production cost of raising fishes and that all fish farmers in the country are hereby enjoined to abide by the new price.
He warned fish farmers across the country that selling less than the approved prices would warrant necessary sanctions from the farmers’ group and that the sanction would be implemented by each state chapter’s monitoring team. “We are also aware of investors, who sell at very ridiculous prices so as to eliminate small scale farmers in order to dominate the market, thereby leading to fish farmers selling at a loss, and when such a group is discovered, necessary sanctions will be carried out by the state monitoring team. I urge every fish farmer in the value chain to align with their state chapters and work closely with their stakeholders. For the fish farmers to remain in business, I encourage all fish farmers to stick to the recommended prices, as stated above”, he said.