Fish Farmers Begin Nationwide Strike

Alt: = "photo showing fishes in a fish pond"

“I encourage farmers to speak with one voice and other states should take a clue from their Oyo State counterparts"

Nigerian Fish farmers are planning to embark on a nationwide protest trike over the high cost of feed and market failures that are affecting their productivity and profitability.

The farmers stated this in Lagos on Monday, Peoples Gazette reports.

Mr. Lai Mustapha, a fish farmer in Lagos said the decision of fish farmers in Nigeria to go on strike is a welcome development, which would help them control the fish market in their favour. He said the fish farmers in Oyo State have already begun strike, other states are advised to join.

“The proposed protest strike of local fish farmers is a welcome idea. It will help us determine the price of our produce, although only farmers in Oyo State have embarked on the strike.

“I encourage farmers to speak with one voice and other states should take a clue from their Oyo State counterparts.

He said the fish marketers are exploiting the farmers by giving them very low prices but will go to the market and sell at the high prices.

“These fish sellers just come up with their prices at the detriment of farmers. The cost of production is soaring, so local farmers must determine the price of fish,” Mustapha said.

Another fish farmer in Akwa Ibom State, Okon Amah, decried the high cost of fish feed and other costs of production. The strike is intended to regulate the prices of their produce, rather than leaving it in the hands of  buyers  to determine the prices.

“We, the local fish farmers, are threatening to go on a nationwide strike because poor fish price due to increase in the cost of fish feed.

“This growing increase in the cost of fish feed is affecting the profitability and productivity of our local fish farmers.

“The fish farmers in Oyo have embarked on a strike for us to be the sole determinants of the prices of our products, but others are yet to join in the strike.

“Other states like Lagos and Delta states are gearing up to join them to boost profitability, as the cost keeps increasing,” Mr Amah said.

Mr. Chukunyere Ekeledo of Magnical  Farms, Owerri, IMO State told Peoples Gazette that the panned protest strike is because of increase in price of fish feed every now and then without them, the fish farmers having the power to increase the prices of fish accordingly. The middlemen seem to have the power in setting the prices, where the middlemen buy ROM farmers at very low prices but turn around to sell at high prices to the consumers.

“Every other week we farmers have observed increases in the price of fish feed, so we farmers also want to increase the prices of fish. 

“We are not enjoying the profit or business aspect of fish farming. We concentrated on production so far but our buyers have built a formidable market for themselves.

“Local fish farmers and their middlemen need to meet together and reach an understanding in determining the prices of fish from farms.

He stressed that they will incur some losses for embarking on the trike but it’s a sacrifice worth making.

“Although we may incur some extra cost, if we embark on the protest because of the continuous feeding of our fish without sale; it is a risk we need to take.

“The strike is a sacrifice we are making so everybody will be carried along. If only one side of the value chain is happy with sales and other is not, the aquaculture sector will not grow,”

Related article: Solutions to Fish Farming Problems in Nigeria

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