The Association of Fish Farmers and Aqua_culturists of Nigeria (AFFAN) in Oyo State, has called on the Federal Governments to create special silos for maize and soya beans.
The Chairman, Mr Peter Farinto, saidÂ on Tuesday in Ibadan that the two crops formed the major raw materials for the production of local fish feeds.
â€œIf government could store the raw materials, an enabling environment would be created for the sustenance of the fish farming business which depended largely on fish feeds, to boost local production,â€ Farinto said.
The chairman further said that fish farmers were recording a lull in business because they could not afford imported feeds.
He expressed fears that members of the association might be forced to lay off workers to cut cost if they wanted to remain in business in the face of the lull.
â€œThere will not be fish production without food for the fish to eat and survive in the face of dearth of fish feeds,â€ he pointed out.
Farinto, who said that the fish industry was among the largest employers of labour in the country, said sacking the workers would not be a pleasurable alternative.
â€œWe can always run to the government to open the silos and sell to us at affordable prices and the industry and workers will survive,â€ he said.
The chairman also called on the Federal Government to subsidise the prices of imported fish feeds by reducing or eliminating import duties on them.
â€œAlthough imported fish feeds are better in quality, they are more expensive than the local feeds and not many farmers can afford them,â€ Farinto said.