Suleman Omeiza Eku Sadiku is a professor of fisheries and aquaculture who specialises in aquaculture nutrition. He says, in a paper he presented at the inaugural lecture of Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, titled: “Fish Nutrient: The first class miracle for all,” that the invention of mobile hatchery device is a milestone development in fish farming. Sadiku, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of FUT, Minna, told Daily Trust that the new device is easy to operate and affordable.. Excerpts:
Can you tell us what mobile hatchery device is?
It is a process that makes you able to do hatchery on wheel, conventionally hatcheries are done stationery. Hatchery does not need to be a gigantic outfit. Therefore a mobile hatchery is an outfit that wherever you are going you can go with it. Hence, it’s called mobile hatchery. If you are leaving your place of work to another place you can carry it along with you. It enables you to farm any where you go.
Does this means the hatchery device is constructed in form of wheel carrier?
Mobile hatchery comes in a system that is unique and self sustaining. It is not connected to any other system. It is all in one. The draining and containing systems are there and by the time you put all the systems together it becomes a package. You just take it with you, anywhere you go to you can put it down and operate your hatchery. You don’t need to think of where to connect it for power supply or where do I drain in and outlet because it is all there. It is circulatory because you have a reservoir, filtering system and the drained water is what you recycled again. It is built with all factors being considered, a heater to make it all year round. That is the beauty of the system too, you breed all year round.
Is it hi-tech?
It is not hi-tech device. It is a basic thing that you can do because all you need to do is to train somebody. You can train your farm assistant on how it can be operated, provided the person can read and write and understand instruction for what is required. That is the only thing it requires. Once, you trained your farm assistant on how to check the filter if there is a blockage, check thermometer if the temperature is down, finished. There is an inbuilt system in it to tell you about all these, so you don’t need to be sophisticated to know all these. Even in the UK the person that runs our breeding and hatchery complex is just a high school leaver. He was trained and managed it perfectly well. So the mobile hatchery is never an elitist thing.
How affordable is it?
I believed one can build a mobile hatchery with less than N 100,000. I don’t think that is too expensive if you look what you are going get out of it. The steel structure is just about N40, 000 and that is the most expensive component, the other containers are plastics that you can get from the market which is not more than N 1, 000 as your rearing units. The PVC pipes of either half, one or two inches are also cheap and the other component that you may need also does not cost much. You need the micro heaters of about 50 watts or of maximum 100 watts if you want to put it in reservoir so that it can heat the entire system. So with less than N100, 000 you can put up a mobile hatchery of 20 units and each unit can hold a hatchery of 5, 000 and that means the system can take 100,000 hatcheries at a go.
Can we say it is now possible for one to go for all year round breeding?
You can breed all round the year, though in a year we have raining season that starts in April and ends in October. Between May to October you can breed three times before the rain stops. This means you will have three circles in a year but in an intensive fish farm, you can breed in batches without skipping. If it is for a beginner, a space should be given between bleedings. You breed for a month and give space for a month.
Many great inventions were made by the Nigerian universities but what remains a challenge is getting the inventions into the market. What assurance can you give that mobile hatchery system will not suffer same fate?
That is why we are here. As a university we have built this system, exhibited it, it was acknowledged and we got award. But that is not where we are going stop as a university because we want patronage, university and industry linkage and entrepreneurs to come forward. We want people to challenge us. As I told you, whoever comes to us we build it for him with only N100, 000. [SOURCE: DAILY TRUST]