PIND worked with United Ufuoma Fish Farmers Association (UUFFA) in Warri, Delta State, on the pilot for the demonstration pond project to help instill best practices in the lucrative and popular practice of growing catfish. UUFFA is a large cooperative farm with 500 registered small scale commercial fish farmers and more than 2,000 ponds. This program enabled members of this business membership organisation (BMO) to maximise their fish feed and grow catfish more efficiently and profitably. The eight demonstration ponds belonging to the 80 trained farmers were harvested after a six-month production cycle and the yields and profit were calculated. Where farmers overstocked their ponds to make up for high mortality of their fish, rate of deaths of stocked fish dropped by 30% post-intervention with an average yield was up to 711kg, even though farmers stocked less. Following our survey of 80 of the trained farmers, we can confirm that, in varying degrees from strongly to very strongly, 100% of the farmers agree that the project has been beneficial to them. As much as 96% have already adopted the taught practices on pond netting, 57% have adopted quarantine, 82% have adopted record keeping as taught during the intervention in their enterprises. 87% of trained farmers experienced increased sales as a result of the intervention. From records provided to PIND between January to June 2014 as a result of the intervention, farmers within the UUFFA experienced additional income up to N6,000,000 from sales of their fish.
Following the pilot, PIND spent 2014 expanding this intervention to even more farmers. PIND trained a pool of local service providers with the capacity to deliver both technical and business knowledge to fish farmers to scale up the intervention to other locations in the Niger Delta. PIND formed a partnership with Grand Cereals who engaged two of these service providers and set up six demonstration ponds in Asaba and Ughelli, which would benefit CAMP 74 Fish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN) each with 40 and 120 members respectively. Additional income in fish farming business has meant increased membership in fish farming associations, evidenced by the increase in UUFFA’s membership from 400 as at September 2013 to 686 by end of third quarter 2014. Fish feed company Makarkute on their own has replicated the PIND model in the UUFFA cluster by running demonstration engaging the services of a PIND trained local service provider and Top Feeds is also in talks with PIND on the possibility of running demonstrations in other locations. In 2015, PIND signed an agreement with United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/PIND-funded Maximizing Agricultural Revenue in Key Enterprises and Targeted Sites (MARKETS II) and aquaculture input provider Premier Feeds in April 29, 2015.