Urban Fish Farming in Lagos

By Marc Wegerif. PhD Candidate, Rural Sociology Group Wageningen University, contact: marc.wegerif@wur.nl.

The Gate CompThe grey concrete buildings and high rusty brown gate we were outside in a suburb of Lagos were not encouraging. Especially as we were looking for a farm, a fish farm, this did not look like any kind of farm. The yard beyond the gate with half finished buildings and concrete with rusty steel reinforcing sticking out was also not inspiring.

BlueTanksCompI was with a group of 12 amazing women farmers from all geographic zones in Nigeria, finalists in the Female Food Hero awards in Nigeria. This was an exposure visit for them as part of their training and build up to the announcement of the female food hero of the year (https://www.facebook.com/ffhnigeria?fref=ts).

FishGoCrazyCompWhen we looked a bit closer, behind an apparently collapsing shed, we saw three blue plastic water tanks. We gravitated to wards them as they were the newest and most functional looking things in the yard. Looking inside the first blue tank we did at least see some fish and a young man appeared from one of the buildings and admitted that he worked there. He was not the most talkative person, but did start to show us around. When he threw some fish food into the murky water it suddenly came to life, hundreds of fish rushing to get to the food, water splashing even outside the tanks.

FeedingFishCompCatFishInHandCompWhen he threw feed into the slimy green water, of what I had thought were empty concrete tanks, these also exploded into catfish filled life. I was at last convinced we were not wasting our time. With a net he pulled some fish out, including a catfish that was probably weighed about 5kgs. There were close to 9,000 fish in the outside tanks. Most of them catfish in the concrete tanks, but one of the plastic tanks had about 1,000 pangasius fish as well.

In an incomplete building in a corner of the yard we were shown breeding tanks and the thousands of juveniles/fingerlings in them. The breeding tanks on the upper floor of the building contained exotic fish for aquariums. These days this fish farm sells only on Saturdays and focuses on selling parent stock as they get a better return, thousands of dollars a week. We did also see a few fish in a smoker, for the fish farmers own consumption.

This urban fish farm is part of a rapid expansion of fish farming and related industries in Nigeria. It was good to see that the fish feed came from a Nigerian company. The government has got ambitious programmes to promote fish farming with an aim to replace the 1.9 million tons of fish imported each year, at a cost of over $700million, with local production (http://www.fmard.gov.ng/news_inside/96 ). The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development gave each of the 12 female food hero finalists start-up kits including fish for them to go into or expand their own fish farming.

The yard remained a mess, but the fish production did impress, and fish farming at quite large scale in small urban spaces clearly has potential that I had never realised before. We got back on our bus and into the Lagos traffic. Along the way we saw women selling smoked fish from buckets on their heads and we also had cat fish as part of our dinner.

Take Back the Economy 3: Who profits? Taking back business

Dirk Roep:

Inspired by the presentation of Katharine Gibson on Wednesday September 4 and her latest book book ‘Take Back the Economy: an ethical guide for transforming our communities’ (http://takebackeconomy.net/) Michelle Steggerda started her weblog on which she will post her reading of the book and her effort to take back the economy.

Originally posted on Take back the economy:

Have you heard of Airbnb already? Which started as a small initiative in San Francisco in 2008 developed into one of the biggest shared economy platforms, now compromising 800,000 listings in 34,000 cities. Airbnb is a worldwide network in which people (hosts) rent out (part of) their house to tourists on an irregular basis. Tourist pay less than for the average hotel in the same city and can enjoy a much more personal environment. Hosts who rent out part of their house earn money in return. Trust is gained through a reviewing and verification system. The organization Airbnb gets a commission on every transaction and it so able to get a business model out of it. Everybody is happy, except for the hotel industry. Hotels increasingly experience the Airbnb business as unfair competition as hosts don’t pay taxes and don’t have to comply with the strict legislations. By now the…

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Stichting RUW – Vacancy: Junior Coordinator

Originally posted on StichtingRUW.nl:

Job description

You organize activities such as lectures, debates and excursions for students of Wageningen University and are involved in the entire process of planning, organizing and evaluating an activity. You promote activities of RUW Foundation and execute administrative tasks such as website management. It is a part-time job of 8 hours per week.

Your profile

  • You are a Bachelor or Master student at the Wageningen University;
  • You are social and creative, and enjoy working in an enthusiastic team of students;
  • You do not have a nine-to-five mentality (you are willing to organize and help during evening activities);
  • You enjoy organizing activities, ranging from lectures to excursions;
  • You are able to work independently;
  • You live in Wageningen and are available for the coming year.

We offer

  • The ideal opportunity to expand your network;
  • To acquire work experience and learn within an organization with over 30 years of experience;
  • The opportunity…

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Stichting RUW – vacature Senior Coordinator per 1 januari 2015

Originally posted on StichtingRUW.nl:

Naast een Junior Coordinator (per 1 december) zoeken wij ook een Senior Coordinator (per 1 januari). Ben jij geinteresseerd in onderwerpen rondom voedsel, groene ruimte, regionale ontwikkeling, energie en water? Ben je proactief, communicatief vaardig en wil je werkervaring opdoen bij een ideële organisatie? Bekijk de vacature voor meer info! Vacature senior Coördinator Stichting RUW oktober 2014 

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Take back the economy 2: how do we value work?

Originally posted on Take back the economy:

In my last blog I talked about Robby and Elena: two people both aged 24 but each having a completely different working life. Echoing the authors of “taking back the economy”, I wondered which bright ideas could help our Robby’s to earn a decent living and our Elena’s to achieve a better work-life balance. Based on your reactions and my thinking, I would like to argue there is a need for a changing value system in our economy. This could be done in many ways. And luckily there are already real life examples to proof this is an ongoing development. In this blog I will show a few of them.

Let’s start with Robby. He has a range of experiences and qualities. He is motivated to work for all jobs that he endorses. Yet he usually ends up with work which is not or very badly paid. His…

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Nieuwe collectieven agrarisch natuurbeheer in oprichting

Op 5 september is het Drents collectief opgericht door ANV Drenthe en LTO Noord, lees het persbericht voor meer info. Het is de eerste van naar verwachting nieuwe 40 collectieven die in Nederland worden opgericht om invulling te geven aan het nieuwe Natuur en Landschapsbeleid vanaf 2016. Dit is te volgen via het Portaal Natuur en Landschap met achtergrond informatie over het nieuwe N&L beleid en de collectieve aanpak, nieuws en ook een serie videoblogs, waarvan de laatste gaat over het Drents collectief.

Terroir: Food with an undeniable sense of place – by the Lexicon of Sustainability

A short film on the notion of terroir and how it is applicated in the Capay Valley California by the Lexicon of Sustainability Know Your Food short film series:





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