Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria, has bemoaned the negative influence of middlemen in catfish production, noting that a change in situation is needed in order to make headway in the industry.
Obasanjo made this known during his meeting with the leadership of the Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN) at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State, which was held to re-strategize for better productivity within the sub-sector.
Obasanjo, a founding member of the body, lamented that catfish farmers in Nigeria have been overwhelmed by intermediaries within the industry, remarking that the situation was caused by farmers because they permitted these intermediaries, who do nothing to justify their control.
“You are the ones working and they are the ones making the profit. It shows that the farmers are not liberating themselves. If you want to liberate yourself, within a year we can do it. And that is what we have to do. We have to re-strategise,” asserted Obasanjo.
“I started the Poultry Farmers Association, and as a result of its achievements, I began the catfish association too. What put me off was that I was arrested, detained and imprisoned. When I came back, I had thought I could return to my farming business before I was taken to the golden cage in Abuja. I will say it has been an interregnum. But I am back home now,” he said.
Sunday Musa Onoja, the national president of CAFAN, lauded the exemplary practices of the former president in farming, adding that the association would no doubt tap his experience in order to take catfish farming to the next level.
Tayo Akingbolagun, chairman of the association’s board of trustees, presented Obasanjo with a CAFAN identification card, recognizing him as a registered member.