The armed insurgency in northeastern Nigeria has resulted in the disruption of fishing livelihoods, an important source of food and income, especially for households dependent on the Lake Chad, a large and shallow lake spanning Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria’s Borno State. The crisis has resulted in decreased access to fishing grounds for fisherfolk due to military activities and volatility in the communities bordering the lake. For households affected by the insurgency, on 2 April 2019, FAO launched the first in a series of fish farming clusters across Borno, the worst affected state in northeastern Nigeria.
An initial five fish farming clusters, including 50 people, received fish farming kits in Monguno and Jere local government areas in Borno under a project financed by the European Union Trust Fund to restore agriculture-based livelihoods in the State. Clusters received fish farming starter kits including fish rearing tanks, fish feed, juveniles, water pumps and other accessories to enable immediate fish production. All groups received training on good fish farming practices, to boost production and sustainability over time.
“For households affected by the insurgency, especially those formerly engaged in fishing activities, FAO believes that fish farming will help them to earn more, improve their income and become independent of food assistance”, said Suffyan Koroma, FAO Representative in Nigeria, at the launch of the clusters in Jere, a few kilometres outside of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Tuesday.
In 2019, FAO plans to engage 200 male-headed households in fish farming, and train and equip a further 100 female-headed households in fish processing and marketing within the State. FAO’s aquaculture programme in Monguno and Jere is part of a larger European Union Trust Fund programme to assist close to 100 000 households in Borno to restore their livelihoods in agriculture – crop production, livestock, fish production and agribusiness – between 2018 and 2021.