NIGERIA – Fish farmers in Nigeria have lauded Olam Agric for the impressive investment in the aquaculture value chain, which has seen tremendous growth in operating capacity for the sector in the country.
Speaking during a value chain review exercise, Farmers attributed the progress recorded in the sector to the company’s N210 billion (US$271M) investments in the first half of 2023.
Attesting to the business’ value chain impact, Vice President of the Lagos State Catfish and Allied Farmers Association, Olatoye Fajimi said, “Olam agri employs technical experts who go around to visit farms to work with the farmers to improve farm clusters’ productivity.”
Olam Agri in Nigeria, an agribusiness in food, feed, and fiber started investing in the aquaculture value chain in 2017 through its feed milling unit.
Before then, the sector was bedeviled with different challenges among which were poor knowledge of modern fish farming practices, inaccessibility of high-quality feed, high mortalities in hatcheries, slow growth in the nursery phase, and irregular sizes during harvest. This led the agribusiness to immediately set machinery in motion to address the challenges.
According to The Nation, approximately 7,500 Nigerian fish farmers, among whom were women fish farmers, were equipped with the best aquaculture practices by the business’s team of experts.
In addition, the agribusiness located a state-of-the-art feed mill in Ilorin to ensure a steady supply of quality and affordable fish feed to fish farmers.
To achieve the objective, the agribusiness flew in one of its global aqua experts, Mr Matthew Tan, who trained and introduced local farmers to trendy fish farming practices. He also trained over 40 Olam Agri technical experts who continued to work with the farmers.
Fish farm owners expressed content, appraising Olam for helping them understand the science of catfish farming, especially how to create the right environment for the fish to thrive. “These efforts have really impacted our businesses.”
Speaking about the business’ approach to raising productivity in the aquaculture value chain, Mr. Ankit Puri, Vice President of the Animal Feed and Protein Unit, Olam Agri in Nigeria, said that the company’s aspect of success story is that they keep the fish farmers at the heart of their strategy.
Apart from deploying experts to work with the fish farmers, we introduced best-in-class feed formulation processes, strong procurement systems, wide-reaching logistics, and operational excellence into the industry” he added.
Expounding, Ashish Pande, the Country Head of Olam Agri in Nigeria explained that the company’s rising investment in the fish farming value chain is part of their pursuit of a food & and nutrition-secure and sustainable Nigeria under the Seeds for The Future (SFTF) initiative.
“The Seeds for the Future initiative is our social sustainability investment vehicle with five levers, namely, supporting farms and farmers, enabling wider education and skill development for young people, empowering indigent women, promoting health and nutrition across the country, and reducing carbon emissions in our business operations.”