WISHH’s water exchange trials in Ibadan, Nigeria are laying the foundation for future feed demand in West African aquaculture enterprises. Local industry supported the trials with donated feed, suitable land to serve as the trial site, and advanced juvenile catfish. The trials are producing data that WISHH can use to determine the optimal water exchange protocols for catfish farmers in Nigeria. Once the initial data is assessed, WISHH may conduct further analysis of water exchange rates and expected fish production to add to the data.
Water exchange is one of the many components of African aquaculture management that requires close attention and fine-tuning. Poor water exchange can reduce the benefits of what would otherwise be considered a high-quality fish feed. Many Clarias catfish farmers practice water exchange to grow more fish per volume compared to static water ponds. However, data on production levels versus exchange rates is largely anecdotal and needs further documentation so farmers can better plan for profitable businesses.
Following the conclusion of the water exchange trials, WISHH expects to conduct trials using U.S. soy-based feed in the protocols that are proven to offer the best results. WISHH is using U.S. Department of Agricultural Trade Promotion (ATP) funds to support its work to develop Nigeria’s aquaculture industry.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Nigeria is the largest aquaculture producer in sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria’s production has grown steadily from 21,700 tons in 1999 to 316,700 tons in 2015. Catfish, typically grown in ponds and tanks, is the most farmed species in Nigeria, constituting more than half of the total aquaculture production by volume.
Photo: WISHH consultant Sofela Sofolabi (right) collects data that WISHH will use to determine the impact of one of the water exchange protocols in the USDA-funded trial in Nigeria.