Triton Actualises First Phase, Catfish Farming Entreprise
Commences 40MT Pilot Phase Harvest,
Plans $65m Investment
ANOTHER milestone in fish production agenda of Triton Aqua Africa Limited to go in tandem with the Agriculture Transformation Agenda of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) was achieved, mid week, when the company commenced its local harvest at Iwo, Osun State.
It was a step taken, according its Director of Production, Mr. Yashpal Jain to boost local production in a bid to reduce fish imports for which the company has been involved.
Jain said the pilot phase of the project is located in Iwo, where it already had a poultry project in the past, but added that for the aquaculture scheme, additional 25 acres of land had to be secured.
The pilot stage at Iwo, Jain expained, is growing the African catfish, of the Clarias Gariepinus species in ponds as big as two standard plots of land for one.
Overall, two large earthen ponds with the dimension of 100m x 80m, six of 100m x 40m and four nursing ponds of 80m x 25m are expected when the pilot fish farm infrastructure is completed.
For Tilapia, he revealed that though cages in which they are expensive and usually imported, the company would source and fabricate locally such number as would be needed in the course of establishing the farms.
From the existing ponds, 40tonnes of catfish is expected at this instance; however, Jain explained that 2.2 croppings can be done in a year and would amount to 88tonnes of full capacity at this stage.
Chief Executive Officer, Raju Santani said Triton Group, which came into business in the country in 1995 owns a two-million catfish fingerling capacity hatchery in Ikeja Lagos State from where it sourced the stock for the Iwo project.
Santani said about $65m is planned for investment in catfish and tilapia production in the next five years to complement efforts of government to grow the local fisheries sector and create more job opportunities in Nigeria.
He said the plan is to establish fish farms for both Tilapia and Catfish in different parts of the country. For this reason various state governments were approached to partner with the company to grow fish, provide jobs and boost the economy.
For instance, Oyo, Ogun, Kwara and Ekiti states have been approached with applications, for working relationship that would release water bodies like in the various Water Basins and dams for fisheries activities. The Tilapia to be farmed is specially improved breed, the Genetically Improved Farmed Tilapia (GIFT), which he said are getting wider acceptability worldwide.
On ground at the harvest event, the Olupon of Olupona, Iwo, Oba Emmanuel Oyebamiji said there is no doubt the entry of the company into his community has begun to make positive impact as natives are deriving livelihood being employed.
A licensed seed producer, the traditional ruler said, “Any good farmer would want the present Agriculture Minister back because of the good things that happened to agriculture and farmers.” However, he wants the politicking of the election time over quickly, so there would be greater focus on the agriculture business on hand.