Crayfish is of utmost importance to the people of Nigeria especially those from the southern region as it constitutes an indispensable part of their everyday meals.
They are caught everyday in the niger delta, and smoked or sun dried for consumption and commercial purposes. Crayfish is a major source of protein which enriches and enhances taste of soups and food generally; Nigerians get crayfish directly from the sea or rear them in crayfish farms.
Though not common when compared to the rearing of fish, some southern states currently have large crayfish farm that meets the demand for crayfish within their environs and for exportation.
People all over the world consume crayfish, they are edible crustacean of high orders that live in the sea and is a core of Nigerian cooking. The best specie and quality of crayfish is found in the southern Nigeria where about twelve thousand metric tonnes is produced yearly.
Cross River, Akwa ibom, Rivers and Bayelsa states are major producers of crayfish and the highest consumers of crayfish in Nigeria. Southerners love crayfish whether fresh or dry. The patronage is wide as restaurants, hotels, bukas, and house wives demand consistently for it. The large population of Nigeria also broadens the patronage of crayfish.
Crayfish, also known as crawfish and fresh water lobsters are highly relished and among the leading priced seafood in Nigeria, they can be found in brooks and streams, swamps, ditches and rice paddies, they feed on living and dead plants and animals and cannot tolerate polluted water.
With lot of fresh bodies spread across Nigeria, we have an advantage on the production of crayfish for domestic and commercial purposes as a tropical country endowed with shrimp resources. Anyone interested in the business of crayfish production and sale is encouraged to do so as it is a booming venture, but it is important to carefully study the market before commencing.
Find out where you can get crayfish at the cheapest rates, where you can get the finest and cleanest species of crayfish for sale, cost of transportation, repackaging and other relevant information to guide you. With less than a hundred thousand naira, one can obtain one or two bags of crayfish to commence business.
VALUE OF CRAYFISH
Nutritionists have proved that crayfish and other sea foods are brain stimulating foods. Crayfish has a healthy combination of nutrients which include protein that contains large amounts of amino acids tyrosine that energizes the brain and omega 3 fatty acids which is a beneficial fat we can consume. One can obtain a healthy supply of vitamin D, A, calcium, pottasuim, copper and zinc by consuming crayfish consistently.
Because crayfish live in habitats that are free from pollution, there are no toxic residues or artificial hormones injected into them.
They containe healthy saturated fats and calories and can be included in a diet for people with cholesterol and weight issues.
The economic value of Crayfish cannot be over emphasized, they are harvested by local fishermen in riverine areas for small scale trade and this yields considerable revenue because the consumption of crayfish in Nigeria has sky rocketed. The processing and packaging of crayfish has gained grounds in Nigeria and has created little employment opportunities.
Processed crayfish also has a good export market, Nigeria exports crayfish to USA, Japan and some European countries and this yields impressive and attractive foreign exchange, generates revenue, alleviates poverty and aids the growth of crayfish business as a small scale enterprise in Nigeria. There are lots of people who have made lots of returns from investing wholly in crayfish.
CHALLENGES OF THE CRAYFISH BUSINESS
The high costs of transporting crayfish from place of purchase to place of sale is a major challenge. I know a woman who buys ijaw crayfish from yenogoa, bayelsa state to sell in lagos state because the ijaw crayfish is one of the best species and is not commonly found in lagos.
Cost of registration with regulatory bodies like NAFDAC and other relevant bodies may be high and the processes involved maybe bureaucratic and discouraging, killing the morale for the business.
Availability of funds is another challenge as small business owners lack access to funds needed for expansion and miscellaneous expenses. In the words of Mrs Aya a full time supplier of crayfish, ‘’ it has been difficult to get funds from the government to grow my business, I have tried the Bank of industry, cottage agro processing fund, and a host of other government initiatives but they all turned out to be very frustrating and challenging. Getting an approvable guarantor is an uphill task that also contributed in delaying the process’’
I think government lending agencies need to come up with a less bureaucratic processes.
They should devise a means of identifying the real business people in dire need of these funds because some Nigerians actually take advantage of the schemes; by drafting their proposals excellently they easily obtain these funds while the real business owners who are mostly illiterates or semi illiterates lose out. We must not forget that literacy doesn’t automatically translate to the ability to repay loans.
WHERE TO BUY CRAYFISH AT THE CHEAPEST RATES IN NIGERIA
If you are interested in selling crayfish or already a seller trying to locate cheap suppliers I will suggest you try:
1. ORON, AKWA IBOM STATE: Very good quality is sold at oron by the bank of the Atlantic Ocean at affordable rates. Here, you will get tasteful, clean and neatly packed bags of crayfish for as low as thirty thousand naira. If you live far from akwa ibom, you can make one or two contacts to guide or direct you.
2. BAYELSA STATE: Bayelsa state is surrounded by large bodies of water and the major occupation of its natives is fishing, sea food abounds in bayelsa. They are the producers of particular species of crayfish called the ijaw crayfish, which is shiny, very clean and tasty.
3. CALABAR, CROSS RIVER STATE: The beach or bayside market, located at henshaw town, calabar south is a popular sea food market. Many people troop in to buy cheap crayfish for domestic use and for commerce. Here you will find variety of species at variant prices. Apart from the beach market, another sea food market is the ikang market, located at akpabuyo local government area in cross river.
4. RIVERS STATE: Is another place where sea food abounds. You will get crayfish in bonny island, Opobo island , okrika, kalabari and town markets in Port Harcourt at cheap rates.
5. LAGOS AND BADAGRY : Crayfish is also produced and sold here and this is where the people in the south west region of Nigeria get their supply but production here is way lesser than in the niger delta regions mentioned above.
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