By Hammed Shittu
The Kwara State Chairman of Fish Farmers Association, Alhaji Sulyman Buhari, has called on the state government to come to their aid over low patronage being experienced by his members as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Buhari made the call in Ilorin, while speaking on the state of the nation.
He said over 90 per cent of farmers find it very difficult to sell their fishes because of the restriction on movements of vehicle into some states as well as closure of places where most of these fishes are consumed.
While thanking the state governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for his efforts to expand fish markets in the state, Buhari sought his intervention on the losses the farmers had suffered during the lockdown period.
He added: “Kwara state fish farmers association uses this medium to show appreciation to Governor for the foresight and timely intervention on the expansion of fish markets in the state.
“This programme is not only laudable but also highly commendable. We pray it shall be successful.
“However, it is pertinent to note that we have well over 700 commercial fish farmers in the state capital alone and new ones are still springing up. But a number of challenges are facing us, especially during this period of pandemic lockdown.
“Over 90 per cent of farmers find it very difficult to sell their fishes as there was restriction on movements of vehicle into some states as well as closure of places where most of these fishes are consumed.
“As a result of this, there is glut and the prices of fish has nose dive to almost an unbearable margin for farmers. Most farmers are still battling to get their fishes out of water.
“For a robust and capital intensive project like this, as stakeholders in the fish industry we feel all real commercial fish farmers must be carried along to enable us play our part either by mentoring or helping to monitor the incoming ones.”
He added: “We on our own part have started creating local markets within the state to sell off our fishes and we implore the government to also help us establish such markets in states where our fishes are taken to like Abuja and Onitsha.”