The word ‘sabotage’ implies a deliberate act which prevents the success of a plan or action. It could also describe an attempt to deliberately obstruct, destroy or undermine the usefulness of something . Although the word is commonly used in the military parlance, an economy can also be sabotaged especially when certain practices undermine the potentials of economic activities to deliver their full benefits. In a typical economy- developed or developing- there are primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary sectors which produces raw materials, transform raw materials into finished products, render supportive services (such as telecommunication, health, banking, insurance e.tc.) and provide technological backing for other sectors respectively . In an economy where one or more of these sectors are dysfunctional, unemployment, inequality and poverty may thrive; as the idle hands often becomes the devil’s factory, hungry minds may unavoidably become angry minds. Hence, peaceful co-existence may only be a mirage.
Agriculture is a primary industry which plays critical roles in developing economies through production of crops, livestock and their by-products. Asides the direct consumption of some crops, most agricultural products and by-products are raw materials of economic importance which need further transformation into semi-finished or finished products. Its contributions to employment and foreign exchange generation are evident in the boost it provides for agro-allied industries and export . When properly handled, every part of most crops and livestock is useful for one purpose or the other. However, the economic potentials of certain agro-produce are not being completely tapped and as such they are economically abused. One important agro-produce that has suffered economic abuse, especially in developing countries, is fish. Fish are reared under the fishery sub-sector of livestock farming. Fish provide essential protein in human diet . Their by-products such as fish oil, viscera, fish bones/fish scales and fish skin are useful in pharmaceutical/cosmetic industries, organic manure making, livestock feed production, and leather making respectively. These various uses hold huge potential for income generation among fish farmers whilst boosting employment, and foreign exchange generation for an economy at large. So, a sustainable fish value chain can be very vital in reducing hunger and poverty for millions of people in an economy .
Unfortunately, most fish farmers and processors abuse the economic potentials of fish; often after harvesting only the flesh is utilized. As observed in the Pacific, between 40% and 60% of harvested fish is utilized as the primary product; much of the 120000 tonnes of by-products from canning and filleting tuna is wasted . On a similar note, some farmers harvest their fish when and sell their fish before they actually grow big enough to command optimum economic value. One common reason adduced to this is the fact that feed and feeding consume a substantial portion of the total production cost and so render fish farming financially demanding. While this reflects financial constraint to farming, inability to fully appropriate the economic benefits of fish and its various by-products is also evident here. Although small fish may have big nutritional value , harvesting fish before they reach full maturity implies reduction in the amount of oil, viscera, bones, scales and skin obtainable from them. This invariably reduces the benefits of fish farming as an economic activity that can contribute to a peaceful society through food security, employment creation, and foreign earning generation.
It can thus be concluded that pre-mature harvest and sales of fish and by extension of any agro-produce can subtly sabotage the prosperity and peace of an economy just as money laundering, terrorism, nepotism and armed banditry have done to many economies around the world. Since the major reason for this sabotage is insufficient finance, it is therefore pertinent to seek how financial constraints may be resolved through a proactive rather than the reactive and abusive means of harvesting fish pre-maturely. Fish farmers should source feeds from cheaper local sources in lieu of the expensive imported ones. They should also embrace innovative finance such as cooperative farming, contract farming, off-taker schemes, and if possible agricultural factoring. Farmers should embrace technologies that facilitate fish processing for proper extraction of fish by-products of economic importance. Finally, the governments of developing countries (Africa inclusive) should provide both financial, market support and technical support especially for the poor smallholder fish farmers to alleviate the constraint to fish production.
 Google.com Meaning of Sabotage. https://www.google.com/amp/s/dictionary.cambridge.org/amp/english/sabotage.
 Sectors of economy: primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary and quinary. https://www.clearias.com/sectors-of-economy-primary-secondary-tertiary-quarternary-quinary/
 Role of agriculture in the economic development of a country www.economicsdiscussion.net/economicdevelopment/role-of-agriculture-in-the-economic-development-of-a-country/4652
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 Bergé, J. Mariojouls, C. Chim, L. Sharp, M. and Blanc, M. (2014). Adding value to fish processing by-products. Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Policy brief No. 21, 2014. https://www.researchgate.net
. World fish. Small fish, big nutritional value. https://www.worldfishcenter.org/story/small-fish-big-nutritional-value