Fish farmers in Nigeria have now gained access to the lucrative US market, as they now export large quantities of branded smoked fish to that country, the local media report on Wednesday.
The private BusinessDay newspaper reported that the export started a few weeks ago after the Post Harvest Commercial Fish Processors in the commercial city of Lagos, under the aegis of the Cooperative and Agro-allied Multi-purpose Society (CAMS), received the certification of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The fish farmers are being supported under the Lagos State Commercial Agriculture Development Project (CADP), with funding from the World Bank.
One of the farmers, Mr. Tunde Sanni, was quoted as saying the US FDA, working in partnership with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, received samples of fish from the processing plant of the farmers for laboratory testing and had certified the product fit for export to the US with FDA Food Facility Registration N0: 1248378216.
“Exporters of Nigerian foods now buy smoked fish from Tee Ess Farm and export to the United States and there has been no problems doing that. My farm also smokes fish for other fish farmers according to the international standards we have met and they can package the fish with their own label,” he added.
But while the farmers are jostling to take advantage of the new opportunities to earn hard currency by exporting their commodity to the US, Sanni said farmers and processors have barely met the local demand for smoked fish of international standards.