Alhaji Hassan Mundu took his time to raise massive integrated fish farm structure. The essence is to also make the place a major training centre for farmers in Abuja and its environs, as well as Nasarawa State.
He owns the Myra Fish Centre, which he hopes to fully develop for fish breeding and processing, training and resort.
Mr. Mundu, who is a certified fish expert, with a background training in Thailand, and the current vice chairman of the Catfish and Allied Fish Association of Nigeria in charge of North-East, is investing heavily in integrated fish farming, with the goal of having a renowned centre for tilapia and catfish breeding and training.
He also has a mini dam and concrete ponds, beside other large earthen ponds where he raises fish.
But the menace of theft and fear of kidnapping are giving him sleepless nights. Many commercial farmers like him also tread with caution.
Speaking with Daily Trust on Sunday in his farm along Abuja-Keffi expressway, Alhaji Mundu said, “The issue of theft is all over. Actually, it can be very frustrating. Imagine that you put a large quantity of fish in water and took care of it for five months – paying the guards, using electricity, feeding them – but when you came to harvest, you found that half of it had been stolen. You can imagine the frustration after wasting your time for five months.
“However, we try to get over it. We look at the structure we have on ground, so we are trying to improve on security.”
Mundu said he would not be deterred by happenings in the farm beacuse he had already invested massively. He said he would continue to strengthen the security around the farm until incidents of theft were minimised.
He further said the story of theft was the same in neighbouring farms. “From what I have been hearing, the issue of theft is all over the farms. In this place, they have stolen our solar and mechanical pumps. During the last harvest I made here, I discovered that half of the fish was gone. But that did not deter us.
“As you can see, we are now deploying another security measure, so we will continue. No amount of security threat will bring us down,’’ he vowed.
The farmer also said the issue of kidnapping was the first thing that would come to one’s mind while leaving the city for farm.”
Alhaji Mundu, whose farm is located along the expressway, further said that those whose farms are far from the road are more at risk of being kidnapped. “While working on your farm, there will be apprehension if somebody moves even half a kilometer towards you. It happens that way because you hear stories of kidnapping on the farms. It is a reality. Actually, it discourages people from going to farms far in the bush,” he said.
He said many farmers like him were concerned about the current trend and its consequences to the emerging Nigeria’s agro-economy. He called on the Federal Government to take pragmatic action against theft and kidnapping in farms across Nigeria.