Financing agriculture: contribution of the credit institutions to fisheries development in Nigeria.
The desire of the nation has been to attain self–sufficiency in food production by the year 2000. More importantly, the need is to increase the animal protein intake of the average Nigeria, which has been low, at about 19.38g/Capita/day, far below the 65 g/Capita/day recommended by FAO in the light of its identification as the indicator and determinant of dietary quality. In the agricultural sector, all fisheries products have great contributions towards the provision of animal protein thus the concern for constant improvement of the fisheries sub-sector of agriculture. Successive governments in Nigeria have introduced several measures to achieve increase in food production. As it affects the fisheries sub-sector, one of the identified constraints to achieving increase in fish production is the insufficiency of credit to the appropriate target area, the artisanal fishery, Artisanal fishery involves fishing in freshwaters (lakes and rivers) brackish waters and within 16 kilometers off the sea shore using canoes, paddled or motorized at subsistence level, Tobor (1979). This study reveals that the fisheries sub-sector has not received a fair share of financial efforts channelled to the agricultural sector. The Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund (ACGSF) guaranteed over N248 million for agricultural production from 1978 to 1985, out of which fisheries received nothing in 1978, N665,800,00 (2,15%) in 1980 and N718,100.00 (1.62%) in 1985, Data from various banks also showed that a very large proportion of fisheries loans went to industrial fisheries which contributed less than 3% of the local fish landing between 1975 - 1985. The need is urgent for a massive infusion of funds into fisheries production and a rationale channelling of such funds to decidedly effectively areas, e.g. artisanal fishery and fish farming.
- Technical Report