The Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFFAN) has urged the federal government to grant farmers special permit for movement of catfish and its products from regions of production to areas of need within Nigeria.
This, is coming as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the African Union (AU) has adopted food and agriculture system as an essential service that must continue to operate during periods of lockdown, emergency, curfew and other containment measures.
The CAFFAN National President, Mr. Rotimi Oloye, made the appeal in an interview with journalists in Ibadan, Oyo State.
According to him, this would help curb losses and get foodstuff to where they are needed for consumption.
He noted that its members were facing a lot of challenges in accessing their farms due to restriction of movements to curtail the spread of Coronavirus.
Oloye, said security operatives were not allowing farmers to move, pointing out that the farmers mostly affected were those close to border towns.
“This is adding to cost of production that is already on the high side due to cost of exchange rate of the naira to dollar used in importing more than 70 per cent of our inputs like fish meal, hormones and other additives like lysine, methionine.
“This situation can make farmers to abandon farming thereby leading to threats of food insecurity,” he said.
The national president suggested that the federal government should add processed home grown fishery products (catfish) to the energy food being shared to people because of its nutritional values.
Oloye, stressed the need for the use of smoked catfish as protein food in the treatment of COVID-19 patients across the country.
He emphasised that fish and fishery products were nutritional foods because they contained adequate nutrients necessary to boost human body cells and immune system.