In efforts geared towards achieving the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda, the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) has unveiled its most recent innovation in catfish canning, a concept that represents a paradigm shift in fish production.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the formation of innovation platform for stakeholders in the catfish farming and canning, organised by the institute in collaboration with Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), in Lagos, Dr. Gbola Akande, Director General/CEO, NIOMR, stated that the innovation was to effectively engage all stakeholders in developing the aquaculture industry to create jobs; create wealth through value addition, as well as increase fish production in the country.
According to him, utilisation of low value small and medium sized Cat fish will increase the production of catfish in Nigeria.
He said: “Canning of this medium size catfish as value addition is currently ongoing as a means of increasing their utilisation for, human consumption, investment opportunities, and product diversification, quality standardisation in the local and foreign markets, and foreign exchange earnings through export of the canned catfish.”
Akande noted that the catfish canning project was funded with 100, 000 dollar grant from the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), commending the organisation for its support on the project.
He noted that the objective of the innovation platform for the different aquaculture value chains was to facilitate dialogue between the main local players in the value chain, like the farmers, input suppliers, traders, transporters, processors, wholesalers, retailers, the regulators as well as research and development.
“Innovation platform identified bottlenecks and opportunities in production, marketing and the policy environment. The process is galvanised through discussions on market requirements which include quantity, quality, and the timing of sales, followed by an analysis of existing production strategies.
“The innovation platform identifies and implements technologies to improve production to attain market demand. In a parallel and similar process, the marketing system is analysed and improved to benefit all role players within the local context,” Akande added.
In her presentation, Dr. (Mrs.) Mabel Yarhere, Head of Section of Extension Research and Liaison Services, NIOMR, noted that catfish canning is commodity, stressing that there must be cohesion to unite stakeholders for mutual interests.
She maintained that the platform must have potentials to meet the interest of stakeholders on board, adding that all stakeholders must have definite contributions to make and benefits to derive from the platform.
Yarhere stated that farmers, employees, materials- resources in the farm, policy makers, government and financial institutions, as well as the input (fingerlings) suppliers, brood stocks, feeds, water quality equipment and many others are to be managed.
“An idea must be replicable at an economic cost and must satisfy a specific need. Innovation involves a deliberate application of information, values from resources, and includes all processes by which new ideas are generated and converted into useful products.
“In business, an innovation often results when ideas are applied by the company in order to further satisfy the needs and expectations of the customers. In a social context, innovation helps create new methods for alliance, joint venturing, flexible work hours, and creation of buyers’ purchasing power.” Yarhere submitted.