In Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, fish is an important part of the household diet. Fish makes up around 40% of the country’s protein intake, with fish consumption at 13.3 kg/person/per year.

Total fish production per year is close to 1 million metric tons (313,231 metric tons from aquaculture and 759,828 metric tons from fisheries). The majority of this fish is consumed domestically, while around 10% is exported.

Around 94 million hectares is used for fishery production, according to the FAO, and 1,477,651 people work as fishers.

WorldFish in Nigeria

WorldFish has a long history of working in Africa, including in nearby Ghana and Cameroon, to strengthen the continent’s aquaculture sector by conducting research and providing training. WorldFish aims to harness this experience, combined with its expertise in fish genetics, to boost aquaculture productivity and enhance nutrition and food security in Nigeria. WorldFish will draw on its involvement and support from the African Union InterAfrican Bureau of Animal Resources to deliver this work. Through our partnership with the University of Ibadan we are providing scholarships to national students and supporting them to conduct research to understand the magnitude of cross-border trade flows between Nigeria and neighbouring states.

Through the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) we are assisting the government of Nigeria and others in the ECOWAS block to integrate fish in their national trade strategies; promote cross-border trade on some selected One-Stop-Border-Posts (OSBPs); and promote participation of women in cross-border trade. Our on-going work with the Fisheries Committee for West-Central Gulf of Guinea (FCWC), the Regional Fisheries Body (RFB) has focused on (i) documenting the value and contribution of small pelagics (mainly sardines) fisheries to the West-Central Gulf of Guinea region’s food security and economy; and (ii) developing mechanisms for improving utilization and trade in these small pelagics through provision of information and trade networks for enhanced food security and incomes.

Current Priorities / Initiatives

  • Genetic improvement: Dissemination of GIFT tilapia and improved catfish strains
  • Researching fish feed and health
  • Influencing youth and gender policies to increase women and youth participation and benefits derived from aquaculture and aquaculture-related activities
  • Promoting consumption of fish by pregnant and lactating women, and by infants; and reducing postharvest waste and loss in fish value chains
  • Integrating and enhancing the role of fish in domestic and regional trade

Anticipated Impacts (by 2022)

  • 0.35M producer households adopt improved breeds, aquafeeds, fish health and aquaculture and fisheries management practices
  • 0.19M people, of which at least 50% are women, are assisted to exit poverty through livelihood improvements related to fisheries and aquaculture value chains
  • 0.12M people, of which 50% are women, are without deficiencies of one or more of the following essential micronutrients: iron, zinc, iodine, vitamin A, folate and B12
  • 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 10% increase in water and nutrient use efficiency in 0.20M tonnes of fish per annum
  • 0.13M more women of reproductive age are consuming an adequate number of food groups
  • 0.11M hectares of ecosystems restored through more productive and equitable management of small-scale fisheries resources and restoration of degraded aquaculture ponds

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