LIST OF TABLES
Table 1: Nutritional value of catfish.
Table 2: Socio-economic characteristics of respondents.
Table 3: Estimated cost of fish production in Awka metropolis, Anambra State.
Table 4: Average value of variable cost of fish production in Awka Metropolis.
Table 5: Average value of fixed assets and their depreciation value.
Table 6: Average cost and returns of fish production in Awka Metropolis.
Table 7: Constraints to fish Farming in Awka Metropolis.
The study was carried out in Awka Metropolis, Anambra State, to investigate the profitability of catfish production. Specifically, the study described the socioeconomic characteristics of catfish farmers, estimated cost and returns of catfish production. The study also identified constraints to catfish production in the study area. The data were collected from six fish farms scattered in strategic locations in the Awka. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, the Gross margin model and a 3-point Likert type rating scale. The study showed that (100%) of the respondents were males with a majority (50.0%) between the age-range of 31- 40 years. The study revealed that the entire fish farmers had a formal education, with 100% of them attaining the tertiary level. The farmers have an average of 7 years of experience in the business, with majority sourcing their capital from personal savings. The fish farmers expended an average total cost of N610,242.2 and an average total revenue of N1,100,000.
The gross margin analysis revealed a gross margin of N579,096 with a net farm income of N599,758. For every 1N invested in the business, there was a return of N1.11 (RCI). Fish production was very profitable in the study area. The constraints facing the farmers were the high cost of feeds, fish diseases, poor infrastructure, low harvest of fish, high cost of equipment, high cost of labour and inadequate power supply. These farmers could handle large scale production if capital is made available to them which will also allow them to make more profits and become employers of labour. The study recommends that educated unemployed youths in the area should be encouraged to go into catfish farming since the business is very profitable. Soft loans should be made available by credit agencies for the fish farmers in the area to enable them to increase their scale of operation and the farmers should form and manage functional cooperative societies to enable them to achieve economies of scale.
1.1 Background of the Study
Fish farming is a branch of aquaculture which involves the domestication and rearing of different types of fish. This practice allows feeding, breeding, growing and harvesting of fish in a well-planned and controlled environment (Sambo et al., 2021). According toAgyakwah et al., (2020), a wide range of fish farming exists, including growing of fish in earthen ponds, concrete ponds, tarpaulin and poly-tanks. However, the popular and simple techniques are fish production in earthen and concrete pond, which are the basic units of fish farming practices worldwide (Ekine et al., 2019).
One major challenge currently confronting Nigeria’s agriculture is the problem of low productivity in production resulting from inefficient use of resources (Ebiowei and Oluseye, 2013).Nigeria has a huge potential for fish production, among these are a population of over 160 million people, land area of 2,923,768 km2 and a network of inland water bodies such as rivers, flood plains, natural and man-made lakes and reservoirs (Kudi et al., 2008). However, the entire production of the rivers and lakes is hovering between 500,000 to 700,000 metric tons of fish per annum. Nigeria needs a minimum of one million metric tons of fish to feed its population (Sambo et al., 2021).Many African countries have identified great potentials in fish rearing and are resolute to encouraging private sector investments in this sector, due to its economic importance on human body. There is need to boost domestic production and reduce importation of fish into the country so as to facilitate growth (Nyong, 2021).
From biological viewpoint, African catfish is said to be one of the best aquaculture species in the world because it survives in different environments (Nyong, 2021). In this light, Nigeria government in her agricultural value chain initiative through the support of international organizations such as the World Bank, African Development Bank and other financial institutions has come up with several developmental projects with more focus on fish farming so as to address vigorously the issue of economic diversification and import substitution, and also, environmental friendly policies are implemented by appropriate government agencies to ensure conducive and eco-friendly habitats for the operation of fish farming (Nyong, 2021).
Government support to production of fish is cardinal but the most concerned aspect is management of fish farm by fish farmers to sustain production capacity. In order to gain full insight on the prospects of fish farming, it is imperative that information on various cost-return analyses be done so as to advance strategies and financial plan processes for increased fish production and performance of fish farms towards their imperishability and continuity (Asuquo et al., 2018; Uwah and Asuquo, 2016).
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Despite the potentials of fish farming to improve livelihoods in rural communities of Nigeria, it has not been fully explored as a strategy to reduce poverty level. Low productivity, exorbitant establishment costs, high farm level losses and inefficient marketing often constitute the bulk of the problems in fish farming. The low level of productivity result from lack of appropriate production knowledge and skills, sub–optimal stocking and/or overstocking as well as poor fish population control method (Dauda, 2010). Complications arise from high capital requirement for establishing a fish farm, especially for excavation, stocking of fingerlings and installation of productive chain link. Losses at farm also arises from predators such as snakes, monitor lizards, birds and improper harvesting, post-harvest and processing techniques, inefficient marketing due to lack of farmers’ investment in marketing activities which might reduce the revenue generated by farmers along the fish value chain (Agbebi and Fagbenro, 2006). Furthermore, several authors (Ikeogu et al., 2020; Dauda et al., 2015) opined that inadequate quality fish seed for stocking, scarcity of information on modern technologies in aquaculture due to poor extension services, lack of fishermen’s cooperative societies, poor infrastructural facilities, poor funding by government and high cost of fish feed are some of the major constraints faced by the aquaculture industry in Nigeria. All the aforementioned problems can go a long way to reduce the income generating potentials of the fish farmers, which would in turn affect their livelihoods. It is in view of the above that this study is designed to answer the following research questions:
- What are the socio-economic characteristics of fish farmers in the study area?
- How profitable is fish farming in the study area?
- What is the relationship between inputs used and quantities of fish harvested?
- What are the constraints militating against fish farming in the study area?
1.3 AIM AND SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
The aim of this study is to assess the profitability of fish farming in Awka metropolis. The specific objectives are to;
- Describe socio-economic characteristics of the fish farmers in the study area;
- Ascertain the profitability of fish farming in the study area and;
- Identify the constraints militating against fish farming in the study area.