Skretting brought together leaders in the Nigerian industry to set the course for a more productive development at the recently concluded Skretting AquaForum. The event was held in Lagos, Nigeria from October 6 – 8 and was the first event of its kind in the country.
The forum was opened by Skretting CEO, Therese Log Bergjord, and formed a platform for networking and intense deliberation with over 90 of Nigeria’s largest aquaculture producers present. Other attendees included government representatives and industry experts. These key stakeholders in the aquaculture industry gathered to discuss issues including best practices, professionalism, market analysis, value addition and government policies amongst others.
The first day of the event included a culinary session where participants were assigned to a culinary group and took part in the preparation of the different catfish and tilapia recipes. The session increased participant awareness of value adding.
On the second day, eight industry leaders were invited to partake in a panel discussion. Various members gave insight in their struggles, solutions and efforts in the industry. These leaders were Raju Samtani, CEO of Triton Group, Njoku Moses, CEO of St Mosco Feed the Nation Limited, Govinda Raju Siddagangaiah, aquaculture specialist at Premium Aquaculture Limited, Ibukun Sorionla, executive director at Shaldag Limited, Carl Alakija, executive director at Durante Fish Industry Limited, Jonathan Okele, managing director at Okele Farms, Chika Ikeogu, head of fisheries and aquaculture department at Nnamdi Azikwe University and Rob Kiers, managing director Nutreco Africa and Skretting Asia. The session was moderated by Bisi Sofunde, CEO Agrimart Retail.
General manager Skretting Nigeria, Seyi Adeleke-Ige, highlighted the development of the Skretting in Nigeria over the past five years. She also emphasized the importance of the forum in bringing leaders in the industry and expressed the certainty of value addition, improved practices and growth to be experienced in the industry as a result of the event.
Despite local aquaculture production, the majority of consumed fish is imported into Nigeria. A spike in aquaculture production would make way for product development and value adding. It is also anticipated that with an increase in supply and a decrease in cost, Nigeria would no longer import as much fish for consumption.
Skretting’s commitment to fish farming in Nigeria, and Africa at large, was reiterated by Rob Kiers. “We need to feed the fast-growing global population with the limited resources that we have available on our planet. The solution for providing enough food for Nigeria is to increase aquaculture production in Nigeria itself,” said Kiers.
Aquaculture plays an important role in strengthening livelihoods and enhancing food and nutritional security. The United Nations High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) recently concluded that fish are “crucial to any debate and action to reduce poverty and improve food security and nutrition,” a message emphasized at the Skretting AquaForum. During the event, Dutch Consul General in Lagos, Jan van Weijen, shared his views on the importance of aquaculture. “I started 25 years ago in Nigeria, and there were 140 million people then. Nowadays Nigeria has over 200 million mouths to feed. Aquaculture is vital in providing enough protein to feed the country,” van Weijen said. The company wants to help achieve food security in Africa, a goal that is in line with their mission of ‘Feeding the Future’.