By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko
Ibadan – The Catfish and Allied Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN), on Friday called on the Federal Government to resolve all issues that led to the ban of the country’s fish products by the American government.
The CAFAN National President, Mr Rotimi Oloye made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan.
According to Oloye, the issue is taking too long to resolve, saying the government should direct its relevant agencies to fast track the process.
NAN recalls that the ban followed the failure of relevant authorities in Nigeria to provide some documents requested by the United States Department for Agriculture.
Besides, the European Union had also in 2015 banned the Nigerian product because of its high moisture and residues.
But the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has said that the issues will be resolve by the first quarter of 2019.
Oloye said in February, 2018, the American government banned Nigerians fish products from their market due to non compliance with their directives.
“The ban is still on eleven months after; it’s really affecting our market, the lifting of the ban by the American government depends entirely on our government, and the government should please act fast.
“The government will also be of help if a special desk can be provided at our ports for ease of doing agricultural businesses.
“The insurance sector should get more involved in aquaculture business, with robust policy for fish farmers,” he said.
He emphasized that enabling environment for businesses could only be guaranteed with government support, to enable the farmers produce healthier fish for export.
On the anchor borrower programme of the federal government, Oloye said it was not felt in the fish industry.
“We need the government to reduce the taxation on our inputs and take away double taxation on fish feed ingredients.
“We appeal to Nigerians to patronize locally grown fish and products for the sector to grow,” he said.
He said that fish farmers have been undergoing training to ensure the supply of fresh and processed fish products in the country and for export.
“We shall also be collaborating with our partners to improve our supply chain in 2019,” he said.
He advised fish farmers to employ best techniques to produce better products.