In Nigeria, WISHH helps train professionals at Animal Care Laboratories, a leading business that offers livestock feeds, animal diagnostics and animal health products. Although Animal Care’s primary business lies in the poultry sector, it works with over 1,000 fish farmers. The company is an important partner for WISHH’s increasing aquaculture work in Africa’s most populous country—and the world’s sixth-most populous.
Animal Care Executive Director of Animal Husbandry and Technical Services Opeyemi Agbato shared why the strategic partnership with WISHH is building Nigerian aquaculture. “With the knowledge gained from the trainings, our team is enthusiastic and motivated to apply these skills to our diagnostic and awareness programs,” Agbato stated. “We are confident that our efforts can contribute significantly to the growth and sustainability of the aquaculture sector in our country.”
WISHH’s “train the trainers” program helps spread basic knowledge to professionals who then fan that knowledge to fish farms across the country. The recent training WISHH provided helped strengthen water quality testing, created good testing procedures for fish pathogens that cause disease events, and could potentially yield stronger and more efficient fish growth rates. WISHH is filling a knowledge gap with Animal Care as a conduit to transfer research-based knowledge to fish farmers across the country. Sofolabi Sofela, a WISHH technical expert and aquaculturist in the region, notes the potential increased reliance on protein-rich U.S. Soy for fish feed.
“There is a strong line between the survival of fish farms in Africa and more need for feed,” explains Sofela. “As fish farms grow, that means more people in Nigeria can be fed, specifically with the population growth issues we’re facing.”
According to WorldFish, a research and innovation institute, fish is an important part of the household diet in Nigeria. Fish accounts for around 40% of the country’s protein intake, with fish consumption at just over 29 pounds (13 kg) per person per year.
The United Soybean Board, which supports WISHH’s global aquaculture strategy, recognizes these trends could potentially increase demand for U.S. Soy.