1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Aquaculture is the husbandry of aquatic food organisms. The need arose from the decrease in supply from ocean fisheries as a result of over-fishing, habitat destruction and pollution. One of the ways to bridge the gap between the reduced fish supply and increased world food fish demand is through aquaculture. Africa including Nigeria has little aquaculture tradition and has been affected by a number of external problems that have prevented proper management and development despite investment. Aquaculture has been demonstrated as a cheap source of protein (FAO, 1983). FAO (2002) reported that an estimated 840 million people lack adequate access to food; and about 25% of these are in sub-Saharan Africa. As the population grows and puts more pressure on natural resources, more people will probably become food insecure, lacking access to sufficient amount of safe and nutritious food for normal growth, development and an active and healthy life (Pretty,1999).
A number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa are characterized by low agricultural production, widespread economic stagnation, persistent political instability, increasing environmental damage, and severe poverty. Given this situation, it is therefore pertinent to provide the poor and hungry with a low cost and readily available strategy to increase food production using less land per caput, and less water without further damage to the environment (Pretty et al., 2003). In Nigeria, aquaculture development has been driven by social and economic objectives, such as nutrition improvement in rural areas, generation of supplementary income, diversification of income activities, and the creation of employment. This is especially true in rural communities, where opportunities for economic activities are limited. Only in recent years has aquaculture been viewed as an activity likely to meet national shortfalls in fish supplies, thereby reducing fish imports. According to Ekunwe and Emokaro (2009) Statistics indicate that Nigeria is the largest African aquaculture producer, with production output of over 15,489 tonnes per annum, this is closely followed by Egypt with output of about 5,645 tonnes. Only five other countries: Zambia, Madagascar, Togo, Kenya and Sudan produce more than 1,000 tonnes each.
Ekunwe, and Emokaro (2009) further showed that Nigeria imports about 560,000tonnes of fish estimated at about $400 million annually while annual domestic fish supply in Nigeria stands at about 400,000 tonnes. The fisheries sector accounts for about 2% of national G.D.P, 40% of the animal protein intake and a substantial proportion of employment, especially in the rural areas; the sector is a principal source of livelihood for over three million people in Nigeria. Many technical problems arise in the production of fingerlings either in the pond or hatchery system. Principal among these are: the lack of and poor management of brood stock, especially feeding and handling; and the poor record keeping of all activities regarding induced spawning, care of eggs, fry, feeding, and general management of fingerlings (Atanda, 2006).The others factors that could affect production and management as indicated by Adedeji and Owoigbe (2005) in their studies on factors affecting catfish production and its public health implication includes the following: capital, cost of labour, security, marketing, storage, preservation, distribution and transportation of fish and fish products. For increase production, adequate supply to smallholder farmers and profitability all the factors listed must be taken care of. Fish like other animals have a requirement for essential nutrients in order to grow properly.
In the wild, natural feeds are available and as the fish forage for these, they are able to meet their body needs. When fish is removed from its natural environment to an artificial one, enough food must be supplied in order to enable them grow. Artificial diets may be either complete or supplemental. Complete diet supply with all the ingredients (protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals) is necessary for the optimal growth and health of the fish. Supplemental diet do not contain a full complement of nutrients needed but are used to help fortify the naturally available diets. Riche and Garling (2003) reported that fish reared in intensive tank systems requires all nutrients in a complete pelleted diet since natural food is limited and fish cannot forage freely for natural foods. This has the advantage of high quality and consistency of diet. The quality of fish feeds and the hygienic levels of technological process employed during feed formulation determine the level of risk of microbial contamination aided by temperature.
According to Zmyslowska (2000), storage conditions especially temperature and humidity are important factors affecting microbial quality of fish feeds. Improper storage temperature may prolong survival of the microorganism in fish feeds by enhancing their multiplication and production of toxic substances which may be injurious to fish. Good nutrition in fish production system is essential to economically produce healthy, high quality fish products. However the ever increasing cost of feed in Nigeria has greatly increase cost of fish production due to lack of raw materials which have to be imported and competition in the livestock industry for micro and macro nutrient and essential amino acids used in the production of fish feed.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Inland aquaculture is an integral component of the overall agricultural production system in Nigeria. The major species cultured in Nigeria include tilapias, catfish and carp; however the African catfish Clarias gariepinus is the most farmed (Agbede et al., 2003).In spite of the great potentials of fish farming in Nigeria, Nigeria is still unable to bridge the gap in the supply of fingerlings and fish nutrition to the smallholder farmers which has led to reduced domestic fish production. In Nigeria, total domestic fish production is far less than the total domestic demand. According to Zango-Daura (2000), as cited by Rahji and Teslem Bada 2010 the country requires 750,000 tonnes of fish while domestic production amounted to 350,000tonnes. Fish importation makes up the balance of 400,000 tonnes. Importation is thus often used to bridge the fish supply-demand gap occasioned by shortage in the supply of fingerlings and fish nutrition (Rahji et al; 2001). According to Zango-Daura (2000), Nigeria requires about 1.5million tonnes of fish annually. This is what is needed to meet FAO’s recommended minimum fish consumption rate of 12.5 Kilograms per head yearly to satisfy basic protein needs. For now, the unsatisfied demand will continue to be met through importation unless policy actions are geared towards improving domestic productions by providing solution to factors limiting the supply of fingerlings and fish nutrition to smallholder farmers.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1. To examine the level of production in the inland aquaculture sector in Nigeria.
2. To identify ways of improving fingerlings supply to smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
3. To identify ways of improving the supply of fish nutrition to smallholder farmers in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the level of production in the inland aquaculture sector in Nigeria?
2. What are the ways of improving fingerlings supply to smallholder farmers in Nigeria?
3. What are the ways of improving the supply of fish nutrition to smallholder farmers in Nigeria?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1. The outcome of this study will provide an overview on the current level of practice of inland aquaculture by Nigerian fish farmers with a clear method and strategies involved in the increase in the production of fingerlings and fish nutrition that will lead to adequate supply to the smallholder farmers.
2. This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.
1.6 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the improved methods that are used in inland aquaculture with emphasis on fingerlings and fish nutrition production.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
Adedeji O.B. and Owoigbe G.A. Ogunoiki, 2005. M. Factor Affecting Catfish Production and its Public Health Implication in South Western Nigeria. In Vol. II Proceedings of the X11th International Congress on Animal Hygiene 4-8 September 2005 Warsaw, Poland. Belgtudio Warsaw Poland., pp: 427-429
Agbede, S.A., O.K. Adeyemo, O.B. Adedeji, A.O. Olaniyan and G.O. Esuruoso, 2003. Teaching of Fish andWildlife Medicine to D. V. M Students: The Scope, Opportunities and Applications in Practice. Nig. Vet.Journal, 24(3): 172-178.
Atanda, A.N., 2007. Freshwater fish seed resources in Nigeria, pp. 361-380. In: M.G. Bondad-Reantaso (ed.).Assessment of freshwater fish seed resources for sustainable aquaculture. FAO Fisheries Technical., 501.Rome, FAO. pp: 628
Ekunwe, P.A and C.O. Emokaro, 2009. Technical Efficiency of Catfish Farmers in Kaduna, Nigeria Journal of Applied Sciences Research., 5(7): 802-805
Food and Agriculture Organisation, 2002. Food Insecurity: When People Must Live with Hunger and fear Starvation. The State of Food Insecurity in the World. Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome.