Fish processors in Nigeria have again be enjoined to avail themselves of modern techniques to ensure healthier products and guarantee acceptability in the export market.
Dr. Patricia Pessu, Executive Director, Nigerian Stored Products Research institute (NSPRI), Ilorin, said this at the inauguration of a fish processing centre constructed by the institute for the Tatabu community in Makwo Local Government Area.
Pessu said that fish was the cheapest source of animal protein consumed by the average Nigerian and accounts for 35 percent of animal protein consumption, and up to 50 percent of the total animal protein intake.
She said that fisheries were an integral part of the Agricultural sector in Nigeria with a steady animal contribution of 3.5 to 4 percent to total GDP over the last decade.
She further said that the institute was working with different stakeholders in striving to reduce the unacceptable high incidence of fish post-harvest losses across the country.
“Today’s commissioning is yet another demonstration of the Institute’s single-minded pursuit of this goal,” she said. She added that the smoking kilns had been meticulously designed to avert the problem of accumulation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon(PAH), a known cancer-causing chemical on the smoked-fish end product.
Pessu called on the Tatabu fish processors to ensure that the facility, which had the capacity to dry 2500 kilogrammess of fresh fish to produce an output of at least 500 kilogrammes of dry products, is put to maximum use and not vandalised.
In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of the Agriculture Research Council of Nigeria, Prof. Garba Sharubutu, applauded the Institute on the giant stride.
The Sarki of Tatabu, Mallam Isa Ndakida, expressed the community’s appreciation to NSPRI for the project, saying that it would enhance socio-economic growth in the area. (NAN)