9.1 Ibadan Nigeria community development

The Catfish Sustainability Project (CSP) in Nigeria has produced outstanding success since 2015 by promoting income generating opportunities for the small-scale fish farmers through sustainable aquaculture system. It’s an initiative of both Nutreco and Skretting to build the capacity of these farmers through regular field visits, advisory service and support for farmers through revolving feed input.

CSP is funded by Nutreco and Skretting Nigeria and facilitated by the Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) in Ibadan.

In January 2020, the fourth phase of the CSP commenced with a target of an additional 233 catfish farmers to the existing 467 project beneficiaries. At the end of the year, 175 new beneficiaries were added, totalling 642 catfishfarmers, comprising 519 males and 123 females in 35 catfish farmers’ group. Some 264 of the farmers accessed247,275kg of feed through the revolving feed input support between January-December 2020.

Through frequent capacity development programmes on group dynamics and Strengthening, Savings, Credit and Cooperative Management for farmers, there was a clear improvement in sales and income of project beneficiaries. Although, the COVID-19 pandemic affected farmers’ sales, 47.96% of the existing catfish farmers and 22.8% of the new farmers increased their income from catfish production and marketing by 34.8%.

Going by the objective of encouraging sustainable aquaculture system, catfish farmers were frequently trained on best management practices, while implementation was ensured through constant monitoring and technical advisory services. Some 69% of the target small-scale farmers adopted these innovative best aquaculture practices and there was anaverage survival rate of 93.5% of catfish produced by participating fish farmers.

All of these contributed to an average income of EUR 1,200 per participating catfish farmers in 2020.

The production cycle dropped from three to two cycles per year because farmers were unable to sell their fish and purchase a new batch as a result of the pandemic. Likewise, their growth rate decreased as farmers started to ration feed to prevent loss, but overall, the average weight sold increased.

The increase in the average weight of fish sold resulted in a boost in the profit of the farmers. Farmers sold fish at higher prices to fishmongers in 2020 especially towards the end of the year. The average profit of 27% in 2019 increased to 34.8% in 2020.

The major challenge that the project encountered was that the COVID-19 pandemic had an adverse effect on the production and sales of fish. It also restricted farm and farmer visits thereby limiting the onboarding of new farmers and conducting scheduled farmer training. Likewise, the unstable and unpredictable climate affected farmers' production and sales.


In 2021, we intend to scale-up project beneficiaries to 850 farmers from the current 642. More programmes to improve farmers’ adherence with best management practices, training and capacity development will be carried out for both old and new groups. Also, the CSP team is working towards the provision of a revolving fund (feeds) for catfish farmers and to link them up with existing groups and institutions through learning visits.