*Seek Investors TP Mass-Produce Device For Job Creation, Others
From Victor Seyi, Ilorin
Three Research Institutes in the country are in active collaboration with West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme, (WAAPP) to boost aquaculture and improve fish production.
Prof Olufemi Peters, Executive Director of the Nigerian Stored Product
Research Institute (NSPRI), Ilorin made this known on Monday in Ilorin
in an interview with The Dream Daily,
According to Prof Peters, the Research Institutes include NISPR and Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIMOR), Lagos. The third institute, Prof Peters said, is the National Institute of Fisheries and Fresh Water Research (NIFFWR), New Bussa, Niger State.
The NSPRI chief said the three Institutes were mandated to find cost-effective ways of mass production of fingerlings and fish meals locally in order to cut down costs of importing same into the country.
Peters added that the institutes were also tasked to fashion out cost-effective and more hygienic ways of drying and packaging local fish in order to increase its shelve life without losing its original taste and add value to it.
Prof Peters said that objectives of the project included food and social security, increasing the country’s foreign exchange and income earnings especially those in aquaculture business.
“Based on these mandates, the three research institutes have designed, developed and fabricated smoking kilns, storage tank and dryers for fish,” Peters added.
Prof Peters disclosed that the institutes have succeeded in developing modern and cost-effective fish box that could preserve freshness of the fish for weeks and irrespective of the distance to the market.
He said the Institutes have also come up with ways of mass production of fingerlings locally using tilapia and cat fish species native to the Nigerian waters.
He added that NISPRI and NIFOR have been able to dry a species of Nigerian fish into stock fish using solar energy which still maintains same taste with the imported stock fish.
Prof. Peters further said other breakthroughs recorded by the research institutes in the WAAPP-sponsored aquaculture project were targeted at alleviating poverty in Nigeria and West Africa at large.
The NSPRI chief said that because a lot of fish got spoilt in the cold room or during transportation, WAAPP commissioned NSPRRI to develop three-in-one smoking kiln which can use electricity, gas and kerosene.
He said besides that the WAAPP/NSPRI developed smoking kiln was portable and environment friendly, fish dried with the kiln is free of smoke emanating from the charcoal.
Prof Peters, who was the maiden Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) of the
National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), told The Daily Dream that that the NSPPRI kiln has capacity to collect oil oozing from the fish being smoked thereby reducing waste.
The NSPRI boss said the Institute has designed three ways of packaging smoked fish that would increase its shelve live and make it possible to display such fish in supermarkets and even export same.
He said the products designed by the Research Institutes were aimed at poverty alleviation as they would lead to more jobs creation, reduce capital flight and boost food self-sufficiency and social security.
Prof Peters therefore appealed to Federal, State Governments and Investors for financial assistance and adoption of the research findings to drive small and medium enterprises in the country.