According to the experts in the seafood industry, the global seafood market has opened a huge opportunity for Nigeria seafood Agriprenuers to explore due to the global demand for the seafood such as shrimps and prawns.
Weighing in on the potentials of the seafood market, Former Director of the Federal Department of Fisheries, Bisi Adepegba, hinted that it allows Nigeria seafood growers generate a lot of income through the non-oil export from the global $150billion market.
Adepegba said,“The opportunities in shrimps and prawns cultivation is enormous if we can harness it. Both global and local demand for it is rising daily.
“This is because Nigeria’s shrimps and prawns is one of the best in the world, as a result, there is a high global demand for it.”
Data revealed by the Federal Department of Fisheries says that Shrimps and prawns have an inshore production of 17,654 metric tons annually, also Nigerian shrimp is largely produced in the Niger Delta and it is the second-largest brackish habitat in the world.
Shrimp has a rich content of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant astaxanthin which helps to promote the heart and brain health, shrimp is also a very good source of protein and has a rich vitamin and mineral content.
Also, the global value of shrimps and prawns only, in the seafood industry has an estimation of about $39billion and expected to reach $68billion by 2027.
Also weighing in, the Former executive director, Nigerian Institute for Oceanographic and Marine Research (NIOMR), Gbola Akande that “the potential of the seafood industry is very huge in Nigeria but farmers and investors are not well informed of the opportunities.
“The Asians have identified this potential in Nigeria’s shrimps and prawn industry and that is why they are investing massively in it.”
According to him, Nigeria has an Indian firm cultivating shrimps and prawns by piping the Atlantic Ocean into their farms and other Asian firms that export these products also trawl theirs from the sea.
He also said that local farmers need to be kept abreast of the technology and cold chain infrastructures to move the seafood industry forward.
“Nigeria must provide support to farmers to harness these opportunities in form of cheap credit and infrastructure because cultivating shrimps and prawns require a massive investment.”
The Nigerian seafood industry is estimated at about $1 billion and has the potential to create hundreds of jobs for the citizens, it is still largely untapped due to the low technical knowhow and weak equipment which has prevented local and foreign stakeholders to develop the industry.