The Rapid Transformation of the Fish Value Chain in Nigeria: Evidence from Kebbi State

October 30, 2018 - Ayuba Gona, Gwoni Woji, Sunday Norbert, Hajaru Muhammad, Lenis SO Liverpool-Tasie, <>, <>

Gona, A., Woji, G., Norbert, S., Muhammad, H., Liverpool-Tasie, L. S., Reardon, T., & Belton, B. (2018). The Rapid Transformation of the Fish Value Chain in Nigeria: Evidence from Kebbi State (No. 1879-2018-7730).


Africa is rapidly urbanizing, and both urban and rural households have rapidly transforming diets (Tschirley et al., 2015). There is a clear diversification beyond staples into animal proteins (including fish) and horticultural products. In Nigeria, animal proteins alone account for 15% and 20% of the food budget share in rural and urban areas respectively. As incomes rise and Bennett’s law sets in (where the share of non-staples in the diet rises disproportionately with income), Nigerians are eating much more fish. Fish constitutes 10% of food expenditure by urban and rural Nigerians–as much as rice or tubers or pulses! Fish is more than half the expenditure on animal proteins.
There is a large excess demand comparing total fish consumption and total fish production (the sum of farm-grown fish and capture fisheries output). The sum of capture fishing output from rivers and lakes fluctuates between 500,000 to 700,000 tons of fish per year. However, Nigeria is estimated (based on current consumption rates) to “need” at least 2.7 million tons of fish per year (Momoh, 2009; Dauda, 2010; APP, 2016). Meeting this need (and the rising demand tending toward the level of need) is coming from two sources. One supply source that addresses excess demand for fish is from imports. But these are seen to drain foreign exchange and compete with the developing aquaculture sector. The government has been imposing quotas on fish imports but imports continue to be substantial. The other supply source is domestic aquaculture (the farmed fish sector); the government is working to encourage private investment in domestic aquaculture to substitute for imports.


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