Farmers harvesting catfish from an earthen pond in Nigeria’s Delta State.
The partnership focuses on investing to improve productivity, trade, and stabilization of employment in Nigeria’s aquaculture value chain
Nigeria is one of the largest farmed fish producers in Sub-Saharan Africa, with catfish being the most farmed species, including in the Niger Delta region. There, prior to the pandemic, artisanal small-scale fishers had been successful in generating more than 80% of the country’s total domestic fish production before seeing the cost of farming fish rise significantly as their sales were whittled down. Yet thanks to funding from the U.S Government’s Feed the Future initiative, there will be a drive to protect and strengthen Nigeria’s aquaculture sector through a co-investment partnership between the USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub and Partners for Development, a global organization that partners with governments and other development organizations to adapt innovative but tested solutions to meet local needs.
“Strengthening food security initiatives in Nigeria has been made even more critical because of COVID-19,” says Anne Patterson, Mission Director of USAID Nigeria. “Given the important role that fish farmers play in ensuring food security and in the economy as a whole, the Trade Hub’s co-investment with Partners for Development represents a thoughtful and focused approach to meeting the country’s pandemic-induced food security, trade, and employment challenges.”
Through the 24-month “Investment in Delta State Aquaculture” project, Partners for Development will leverage $1.1 million of private funds in addition to Trade Hub’s $500,000 grant to build fish farmers’ resilience to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. This co-investment activity will be implemented across three local government areas of Delta State: Uvwie, Ughelli North, and Ndokwa West. Key project goals include improving production, helping sales rebound, and increasing employment in the aquaculture sector, including for women and youth. While women currently make up an estimated 50% of overall producers in the Niger Delta, and youth about 20%, they both stand to gain from increased representation across the aquaculture value chain.
To achieve these goals, the co-investment partnership will strengthen the capacity of eight fish farmers associations and 600 fish farmers to enable them to use improved aquaculture and business management practices to increase their productivity by 25%. These same farmers will benefit from the project boosting the capacities of 15 hatcheries and 15 fish feed distributors that supply the farmers with fingerlings and fish feed, respectively. Through technical assistance, the hatcheries and fish feed distributors are expected to improve the quality of their inputs and increase production capacity by 25%. The project’s additional focus on strengthening the capacity of 10 Ministry of Agriculture fisheries/extension officers in the region to better support fish farmers provides a firm foundation for the partnership’s success and sustainability of interventions.
“We are excited about this co-investment partnership,” says John Marrkand, Executive Director, Partners for Development. “We are looking forward to not only strengthening the capacity of fish farmers, hatcheries, fish feed distributors, and key government officials but also providing loans to expand and improve the performance of those working in the aquaculture value chain.”
About West Africa Trade & Investment Hub: The West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade Hub) is a USAID-funded initiative that catalyzes economic growth through co-investing with the private sector to generate new investment, create new jobs, and increase the value of regional and international exports in West Africa
About Partners for Development: Partners for Development is a global organization that partners with governments and other development organizations to improve the quality of life of vulnerable people by adapting innovative but tested solutions to meet local needs. PfD delivers sustainable solutions to poverty via the participation of local organizations that take responsibility for and ownership of activities.
About Feed the Future: The Feed the Future initiative is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. It works to give families and communities in some of the world’s poorest countries the freedom and opportunity to lift themselves out of food insecurity and malnutrition.
About USAID: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.