Large, Long, Heavy, With Abundant Flesh and Thickness – That’s How Nigerians Like Their Farmed Catfish

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Farmed Catfish in Nigeria

New research provides fascinating insights into the preferences of Nigerian catfish farmers – and it could help guide private and public investments towards the improvement of farmed species.

Nigeria is already the largest aquaculture producer in sub-Saharan Africa, where demand for fish is expected to leap by around 30 per cent by 2050. The country is also the world’s largest producer of African catfish and has around 285,000 catfish farmers – the majority of whom are smallholders. Selective breeding of farmed catfish species could help the country’s aquaculture sector respond to rising demand and compete with imported fish.

To better understand where to focus these efforts, scientists from WorldFish, the Institute For Future Initiatives, the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the University of Ibadan – as part of the the CGIAR Iniaitive on Aquatic Foods – conducted a series of focus group discussions involving over 100 catfish farmers in Oyo, Ogun and Delta States. Aquaculture is well established in these States, featuring a range of intensive and semi-intensive systems.

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Neil Palmer