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.
The CAFFAN National President, Mr Rotimi Oloye, made the appeal in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Ibadan.
According to him, this will help curb losses and get foodstuff to where they are needed for consumption.
He noted that its members are 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 the 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 of naira to dollars 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.
“Fishery products are good in rebuilding damaged body cells, good food helps sick people to recover fast, fish also helps babies in brain formation; these are the kind of food needed for citizens at this time to fight COVID-19.
“We also need the government to provide cold room facilities for food items like catfish across the country, buy up farm products that lack patronage due to lack of funds and restricted movements.
“The government should help to support families with good and balanced diets, especially in such a time and assist farmers with provision of zero interest loans.
“If these are not done, there will be damage because human health will be affected as survivers will scramble for the little available food,” he said. (NAN)