By Joseph INOKOTONG
Chi Farms Ltd. has successfully concluded the training and certification of a pilot group of smallholder fish farmers.
However, farmers in North and South are to go through the programme supported by USAID and Diamond Bank.
A statement signed by Hakeem Jimo of Lion Sun Consulting said a group of 22 women was trained in ‘Best Practices in Professional Fish Farming’ at one of Chi Farm’s catfish hatchery sites in Sagamu, Ogun State. The Aquaculture Client Focus Team of Chi Farms trained the women in areas such as pond preparation, water management, record keeping and fish farming as a business.
Chi Farms also signed Partnership Agreements with all fish farmers to assure supply of high quality catfish juveniles, quality fish feed, and continous technical support. Furthermore, the pilot group will cooperate with the agriculture team of Diamond Bank Plc. that provides working capital finance for the farmers.
The pilot group is the first 22 farmers out of 500 farmers in the South and 500 farmers in the North of Nigeria that Chi Farms will partner with under a USAID supported technical assistance program. The objective of the program is to contribute to food security in Nigeria by increasing the local production of affordable food.
Dr. Johannes Flosbach from Chi Farms states: “We have visited hundreds of fish farmers in the last months and observed that most of them have pond infrastructure available. Yet, most of the ponds are not in use because farmers are short of working capital, or possibly do not have the professional knowledge to manage catfish farming in a profitable matter.”
As part of the program, Chi Farms will also buy back table size catfish from associated farmers and make it available in major markets. “The quantities of catfish we produce and supply to local markets under this program will measurably increase availability and affordability of food” says Martin Middernacht, Executive Director at Chi Farms Ltd.
The project is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In return Chi Farms has committed to conducting significant investments into the expansion of its feed milling and catfish hatchery capacities.
Chi Farms Ltd. is a leading player in hatching and growing of poultry and catfish, cattle fattening, meat processing and frozen food production and distribution. Chi Farms Ltd. is part of TGI Group, and is a sister company to Chi Ltd., Chi Pharmaceuticals Ltd., WACOT Ltd., Cormart Ltd. and others.
By Joseph INOKOTONG