Health Tips: Check out REAL reasons you must consume fish on daily basis

Despite its numerous benefits to body and brain, the world’s best source of omega-3 fatty acids –fish remains less produced and consumed in Nigeria. On different fora, Nigerians have been advised to eat it more than meat because it is loaded with important nutrients, such as protein and vitamin D. requires for growth and maintenance of lean muscle tissues.

 Nigeria as part of the countries constituting sub-Saharan Africa is expected to see a per capita fish consumption decline of 1 percent per year from 2010 to 2030 but, due to rapid population growth of 2.3 percent in the same period, the region’s total fish consumption will grow by 30 percent overall, according to Food and Agriculture Organisation. 

This indicates that there is a need for further investment if the region is to win the battle against its depleted fish stocks. Nigeria is blessed with the huge national assets in natural and human engineered fish farming endowments, such as bodies of waters and man- made dams, as well as the large collection of skilled manpower capable of driving fish self-sufficiency, according to a recent report. 

The big business: Local and foreign opportunities In spite of the consumption increase, Nigeria’s fish production is decreasing yearly. Available statistics indicates that the country produced 5.7 million metric tons of fish between 2010 and 2015, whereas consumption is as high as 1.55 million tons in 2010.

Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, recently hinted that government is spending $700 million annually on fish importation, largely from Asia, Europe, and Russian markets, to bridge the deficit in local consumption rate. Our analysis reveals that Nigeria needs 2.4 million metric tons in 2017 and 2020 while it would increase to 2.5 million metric tons by 2024 and 2025 respectively. The need is premised on the changing disposable income and population growth trends. 

Concerned stakeholders especially governments and aspiring entrepreneurs need to be part of production increase because of the yearly depleting stocks of Herring or Shawa, Sardine Horse Mackerel (Kote), Sardinella (Agbodu), Mackerel and Whiting (Panla). For instance, 860, 294 metric tons is projected as production output for this year. This would reduce to 656,038 metric tons in 2020, 461,949 metric tons in 2024 and 422, 684 metric tons in 2025. 

The latest report from the three international agencies working towards food sufficiency - World Bank, Food, and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) indicates that global trade in seafood is flowing heavily from developing to developed countries. 

“Seafood consumption and production in Europe is relatively stable. The largest seafood consumers live in France, Spain, and Italy: the Southern part of Europe. The largest growth market is Eastern Europe where seafood is increasingly accepted by consumers. "Spain is the largest importer of seafood from developing countries but countries in Western Europe like the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and the United Kingdom are increasingly important partners for exporters from developing countries.

” When there is a surplus in production, European and Asian countries are the market worth pursuing by the Nigerian entrepreneurs most importantly Japan, South Korea, Spain, and Italy. Japanese love fish and eat is frequently. 

Based on the country’s 2017 population and average 70kg annual consumption, Japan is expected to consume 8.8 million metric tons. South Koreans would never eat local foods without fish. 

An average Korean eats 58.9kg of fish every year. In line with this, the country needs 2.9 million metric tons in 2017.
Health Tips: Check out REAL reasons you must consume fish on daily basis Health Tips: Check out REAL reasons you must consume fish on daily basis Reviewed by Abodunrin Muyiwa (Muyilight) on 17:02:00 Rating: 5

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