The Nigeria Central Bank in conjunction with Heritage Bank Plc approved a sum of N2 billion long-term facility under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) to Triton Aqua Africa Limited (TAAL).
TAAL, known as Triton Farm, accessed the CACS through Heritage Bank, which is used to set up aquaculture businesses; nursery/hatchery for the production of fingerlings and brood stock in Ikeja and earthen ponds for catfish and tilapia in Asejire, Iwo and Gambari towns in Oyo State.
The company’s strategy is to embrace backward integration through production of fish locally and reduce its importation of frozen fish, and as well to assist small scale farms by producing quality breed fingerlings.
The Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, during a tour at Triton Farms, praised the firm, saying the CBN and Heritage Bank’s financial support to the company’s achievement is very fundamental as investment in food security is probably the most profitable venture anyone could think of.
He however said that Nigeria has a deficit of over two million metric tonnes of poultry produce, and over three million metric tonnes deficit in fish farming products, adding that the agro-production deficits showed huge investment potential in the sector.
He impressed it on banks to finance more of the agricultural projects, rather than trading, in oil and gas as the future is highly dependent on agriculture.
The Group Head, Agric Finance, Heritage Bank, Olugbenga Awe, stated that the partnership between the bank and Triton Farm will conserve scarce foreign exchange and enhance food security.
“Nigeria’s current demand capacity for fish is estimated at 2.7million metric tons and the country currently produces 800,000 metric tons.
“Triton is now producing 25,000 metric tons and with them on board, about 25,000 metric tons capacity will be added to our current production, the company’s projection is to reach 100,000 metric tons in five years,” he said.