As part of its effort to ensure that fishÂ consumers are not exploited, the Oyo State branch of the Association of Fish Farmers and Aqua-culturists of Nigeria (AFFAN), plans to open a central fish market at the Eleyele area of Ibadan this year.
AFFAN Chairman, Mr Peter Farinto, said in Ibadan that the central market would make it impossible for fish mongers, who sold at exorbitant prices in the local markets, to exploit consumers.
Farinto said that the arrangement for the establishment of the market began in 2009. He said that AFFAN would soon be in Abuja to discuss the modalities of setting up the market with relevant Federal Government officials.
He explained that the proposed project was a collaborative effort between the association and the FG.Â â€œThe Federal Government is to provide 60 per cent of the needed funds while the AFFAN will provide 40 per cent.
The Oyo State Government is providing the land for the projectâ€, Farinto explained. On the rationale behind the proposed market, Farinto said that fish producers and consumers were at the mercy of the local market women who sold fish at high prices â€œbecause we have no control over pricingâ€.
He noted that while AFFAN members used scale to sell fish, so that consumers could get value for their money, fish mongers fixed arbitrary prices for the commodity. He also said that AFFAN would this year buy modern fish driers to process surplus fish reared by members, pointing out that this would preserve the products and add value to them. Farinto said that the preservation would take care of excess supply and that AFFAN members would not be forced to dispose of their fish cheaply during the period of glut.
He explained said that the association was funding its projects through levies. â€œWe have been funding most of our projects through self- help because government has not been living up to expectation in most cases and we have to surviveâ€, he said. The AFFAN Chairman, however, renewed his appeal to the three tiers of government to assist the association considering the contribution of fish farmers to the protein intake of Nigerians.