• December 22, 2009

Nigerians consume nearly $1billion in fish each year—but most is imported from Europe. That could change once the local catfish farming industry begins to benefit from a development program funded by the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) project.

Through the two-year, $32 million program, catfish farmers will receive direct assistance to improve the quality of their supplies—such as tanks and feed—and the cost-effectiveness of supply methods, learn about new technology through demonstration farms, obtain training in new technologies, and establish relationships with commercial banks and third-party investors.

Funded by the World Bank and managed by Nathan Associates and its UK subsidiary, eme, the MSME project supports small business growth and employment in promising sectors in Nigeria by improving the investment climate, access to financing, and local business development services (BDS), such as training and consulting. The project also mobilizes private investment in small businesses, including BDS providers, through public-private partnerships.

The catfish farming industry value chain is the first in Nigeria to receive MSME assistance. Assistance will be provided through two Nigerian firms—Quick Projects Ltd. and Eagleflair Consulting Ltd— and Aquaculture Production Technology, an Israeli firm.

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