POSITIONING NIGERIAN LOBSTER FARMING FOR SIGNIFICANT EXPANSION AND INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY
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1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Commercial lobster farming is becoming very popular day by day and it’s a very profitable business (Beveridge, 1996). Among all the highly-priced marine crustacean, lobsters are larger in size. A mature lobster weights between 250 to 400 grams. Lobster farming with carp or other fish species is very profitable and easy. It is convenient to start lobster farming business by cultivating only lobsters in a pond or with other fish species like tilapia or clarias garepinus etc (Hill, 1999). However, this study will examine how lobster farming in Nigeria can be positioned for significant expansion and increased productivity.
To ensure significant expansion of Nigerian lobster farming, the pond management for lobster farming should done well. The pond, where the lobster will be cultivated needs more oxygen than usual. Selected pond must have to be suitable enough for changing frequently. So, it will be better if the pond is selected near a river or canal. Doing this will ensure constant water supply. If any source of natural water like river or canal is not available, then there is need to setup a tube well for continuous water supply. Sandy soil is better for lobster farming. Ensure sufficient availability of the sun light. It would be better if there are no big trees near the shore of pond. The area or size of the pond may be any depending on the production type. But it would be better, if the pond is constructed over at least one acre of land. The depth of the pond must be between 1 to 1.5 miter (Jolly & Clonts, 1993).
There are numerous lobster species available. Among those species that are profitable for farming are adik-adik, bamboo and tiger lobsters (Vo, 2006). Because these species grow faster and have huge demand and price in the local and international market. This three species are different from each other like their name. The adik-adik lobsters are of reddish black in color. Bamboo lobsters have striped legs and it’s seems like bamboos. On the other hand tiger lobsters have spotted legs (FAO, 2010). Any of these breeds can be chosen depending on the location and desired production type to ensure increased productivity.
The prime target of the lobster farming proponents in Nigeria, as in other developing countries where lobster aquaculture has been practiced for decades now, is the readily high-dollar international lobster markets that exist for it (Allsopp, 2008). Seventy per cent of Nigerians is estimated to be living below poverty margin (UNDP 2006) and hardly could they be able afford to procure costly seafood. Moreover, over 70% of trawled lobsters in Nigeria are exported. Nigeria’s fish demand was estimated to be 1.7 million metric tons in 2005, with local supplies of 500,000 mmt, while importation accounted for 700,000mmt leaving a deficit of about 500,000mmt (Areola 2007). Given the above wide-gap between fish demand and supply, the wisest option, at least for now, is to roll out lobster production schemes that will assure protein security of the citizenry, and reduce the vulnerability of unpredictable import supplies.
However, from all the related issues in the farming of lobster, it is important for government to support lobster farmers in the area of finances and credit facilities as lobster farming is a capital intensive venture. Government of Nigeria need to take cognizance of the environmental consequence of lobster farming are sizeable amount of nitrogenous waste are produced by lobsters.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Lobster aquaculture discharges nitrogen into water and may lead to serious environmental impacts. Especially, intensive cage culture operations can lead to over carrying capacity of the pond water, and result in fish kills, not only farmed stocks but also wild stocks in case of sea or marine cultivation of lobster. Moreover, accumulation of excessive amounts of nutrients from uneaten feed and excreta of cultured fish impacts the culture environment, tending to generate the levels of ammonia, even toxic hydrogen sulphide. These can threaten the stock so that easy fall in disease or death. In avoiding the rise of the phenomenon, farmers have high needs to use veterinary drugs and chemicals for their prevention and treatment. These may lead to many problems associated with food safety and environment. All these are considered has factors that can limit the expansion and the productivity level in lobster farming. However, the researcher is examining the approaches towards positioning Nigerian lobster farming for significant expansion and increased productivity.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To evaluate the level of farmers involvement in lobster farming in Nigeria.
- To examine the approaches towards positioning Nigerian lobster farming for significant expansion and increased productivity.
- To identify the limitations to the expansion and increased productivity in lobster farming in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the level of farmers involvement in lobster farming in Nigeria?
- What are the approaches towards positioning Nigerian lobster farming for significant expansion and increased productivity?
- What are the limitations to the expansion and increased productivity in lobster farming in Nigeria?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- The result from this study will reveal the level of lobster farming in Nigeria and its contribution to the national economy. It will also educate on the approaches towards positioning Nigerian lobster farming for significant expansion and increased productivity with careful consideration of its limitations and the environmental impact.
- This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area.
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study will cover the level of participation of Nigerian farmers in lobster farming with a view of positioning it for significant expansion and increased productivity.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.