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Cablegate: Aquaculture & Timber: Development Potential In

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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8283
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
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DEPT PASS TO EX-IM KVRANICH AND BUBAMADU
TREASURY FOR ASEVERENS AND SRENENDER
USDOC FOR 3317/ITA/OA/KBURRESS
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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ENRG PGOV ECON EFIS EINV AA NI
SUBJECT: AQUACULTURE & TIMBER: DEVELOPMENT POTENTIAL IN
CROSS RIVER STATE

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1. Summary: Aquaculture, agriculture, and timber offer
sustainable economic development opportunities in Cross River
State. There are currently 100 fish farms in the state and
the Institute of Oceanography and Marine Sciences (IOMS) at
the University of Calabar is promoting aquaculture as a way
to provide income and improve protein consumption. The
Federal and State governments are supporting community
forestry in 70 communities. Obudu Cattle Ranch will expand
meat and dairy production for the state's internal market.
End Summary.

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Opportunities in Aquaculture, Sustainable Fisheries
--------------------------------------------- ------

2. On November 15, Pol-Econ Chief and Poloff visited Cross
River State and met the University of Calabar's Faculty of
Agriculture, Wildlife, and Forestry to discuss economic
development. Former Fulbright scholar and researcher at the
Institute of Oceanography and Marine Sciences (IOMS) at the
University of Calabar (U-C) Albert Ekanem said aquaculture
can boost the state's economy and increase the protein
consumption. He envisions the institute and the state
becoming aquaculture centers of excellence.

3. Ekanem's research revealed an African plant remedy for a
virulent aquaculture disease. This, he believes, will help
Nigerian farmers' see fish farming as a way to earn a living.
Ekanem said the institute is trying to build community
capacity by exploring fish feed production, running a
hatchery, and teaching farmers how to construct fish ponds.
Ekanem said he would like to develop an institute to train
and consult commercial fish farmers and to spread aquaculture
throughout the Niger Delta.

4. Approximately 100 fish farms currently operate in Cross
River State, Ekanem counted. The IOMS currently conducts
workshops and seminars to teach communities how to farm
African catfish and tilapia. The four most widely-consumed
species in Cross River are Bonga, Croaker, Catfish and
Tilapia. In the wild, these species are over-fished, Ekanem
warned; over 20,000 tons of the affordable Bonga are taken
every year. IOMS plans to place nursery-hatched Bonga eggs
in coastal waters, allowing them to drift to estuaries and
mangroves and replenish stocks of wild fish. Ekanem said the
institute has also proposed the establishment of a mangrove
reserve which, if properly managed, could provide a breeding
ground for fish to supply canning and other industries.

Opportunities in Sustainable Forestry
-------------------------------------

5. The Federal and State governments are supporting
community forestry in approximately 70 Cross River
communities, according to Dean Uche Amalu of U-C's Faculty of
Agriculture, Wildlife, and Forestry. A bottom-up approach to
sustainability which requires that communities plant three
trees for every one harvested, gives communities a sense of
ownership and responsibility, Amalu said. Sustainable
biologically-diverse timber plantations are being evaluated
as a possible source for commercial timber and non-timber
products in Cross River. For example, teak can be used for
furniture, plywood, and particle board while the use of Oku
Boduku (a local tree) for pulp and paper newsprint products
is also being explored. Non-timber crops such as avocado,
African pear, and bush mango can also be integrated into
timber plantations, Amalu advised, and generate income when
sold for domestic and foreign consumption.

Obudu Cattle Ranch Improving Meat & Dairy Production
--------------------------------------------- -------

6. The Obudu cattle ranch, a well known mountain resort, is
beginning to develop commercial livestock capabilities, Dean
Amalu said. South Africa's Protea hotel chain which manages
the ranch is designing a slaughter house as well as
facilities for production of dairy products, Amalu reported.
Amalu underscored that he is personally involved in expanding

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the market for Obudu dairy and meat products. Cross River is
Nigeria's most politically stable state with an equitable
distribution of roads and electricity, he lauded. As a
result, it will be easy to distribute beef and dairy products
produced at the ranch throughout the state, the Dean asserted.
BROWNE

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