1.1 Background of the study.
Hunger and malnutrition remain amongst the most devastating problems facing the world poor
and needy (FAO, 2002). About 80 to 90 million people have to be fed yearly and most of them
are in the developing countries. The most reliable source of protein for many is fish, yet millions
of people who depend on fish are faced daily with the fear of food shortage (World fish center,
2009). With the population of Nigeria on the rise, there is a correspondingly increasing demand
for food and to obtain a good nutritive ration, the demand for fish protein is definitely going to
Increasing the per caput consumption of fish in any country benefits health. Fish and fish
products are known worldwide as a very important diet because of their high nutritive quality
and significance in improving human health (Amao et al., 2006). Fish plays a vital role in
feeding the world’s population and contributing significantly to the dietary protein intake of
billions of the populace (Amao et al., 2006). On a global scale, almost 16 percent of total
average intake of animal protein was attributable to fish in1988 (FAO, 1990). The Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO, 1991), recommended that an individual takes 35 grams per
caput of animal protein per day for sustainable growth and development. Fish which contributes
36.6 grams per day of net protein utilization in Nigerian homes is still below the recommended
requirement by the world health organisation (WHO) (Amao et al., 2006). However, the animal
protein consumption in Nigeria is less than 8 g per person per day, which is far lower than the
FAO minimum recommendation (Niang and Jubrin, 2001).
Fish and fish products provide more than 60% of the total protein intakes in adults especially in
the rural areas (Adekoya, 2004). Regrettably, the supply of food fish has been on the decline and
it is due to consistent declines from the country’s major source of food fish (Ugwumba and
Chukwuji, 2010). Domestic fish production is put at 551,700 metric tonnes as against the present
national demand of about 1.5 million metric tonnes estimated for 2007 (Osawe, 2007). The
shortfall is said to be abridged by the importation of 680,000 metric tonnes annually consuming
about N 50 billion in foreign exchange (Odukwe, 2007). In a meeting of the African Regional
Nutrition Strategy in 1993, Nigeria was included as one of the countries having the lowest daily
per capita supplies of between 70-90 percent of nutrition requirements (Amao et al., 2006).
Therefore, increasing fish production in Nigeria requires embarking on pond fish farming. This
has prompted the Federal Government of Nigeria to package the Presidential Initiative on
fisheries and aquaculture development in 2003 to provide financial and technical assistance to
government programmes and projects encouraging fish production (Ugwumba and Chukwuji,
2010). Similarly, the Imo State government created a fisheries component in their Agricultural
Development Programme with many technologies to support fish farmers in order to compliment
the Federal Government effort. Regardless these efforts of Government, fish production has
remained low in Nigeria (Ugwumba and Chukwuji, 2010). This has been attributed to inadequate
supplies from the local fish farmers due to the use of poor quality fish seeds, inadequate
information, high cost of feeds, traditional techniques, small size of holdings, inefficiency in
resource use, poor infrastructural facilities, lack of credit, high cost of industrial feed, lack of
extension agents, lack of veterinary doctors and lack of fish production equipment and low
capital investment (Adeogun et al., 2007; Inoni, 2007; Ugwumba and Nnabuife, 2008; Adinya
and Ikpi, 2008; Ugwumba and Chukwuji, 2010; Adinya et al., 2011; Madubuike, 2012).
The essentiality of protein in the human body cannot be underestimated. It is one of the major
nutrients that are crucial in diets especially for infants, young children and pregnant women. In
low-income countries staples such as rice, wheat, maize and cassava make up the bulk of the
food consumed by the people; this serves as their major energy and nutrients. Protein in itself is
found mainly in animals, poultry and some plants but some sources of these proteins such as
animals and plants are either too expensive or scarce. Hence, the cheapest source of protein
especially to the developing countries is fish.
Fish is acclaimed to be the principal source of animal protein for over one billion people globally
and provides many important nutritional and health benefits. Fish has the highest level of easily
metabolisable proteins; it is reputed for its high quality proteins, fats, vitamins, calcium, iron and
essential amino acids. The per caput consumption of animal protein in the country has been put
at 5gm per day. This is a far cry from the FAO’s recommended level of 35gm per day (Afolami
and Oladimeji, 2003). Fish farming is a profitable venture and it is rapidly expanding and it will
continue to be profitable if the planning and management are well taken care of.
World Fish Center (2009) estimates that fish provides 22 percent of the protein intake in SubSaharan Africa. Fish also supplies about 180 calories per capita per day. Fish is a vital element in
diets and its contributions to nutrients is also very crucial. Fish supplies Iron, Zinc, Calcium,
Iodine, Potassium, Vitamins A and B and fatty acids, which is necessary for the development of
the brain and the body.
As fish serves as a subsistence product and source of direct food security for fishing households,
the generation of incomes derived from wages as a result of fish trade is even more important as
an indirect contribution to food security as about 30 to 45 million people in Africa depend on
fish for their livelihood.
In analyzing fish trade, income generated from these has been very beneficial for the
development of the developing world as a whole and the international trade in fishery products.
Fish trade was birthed by small-scale integrated fish farming systems, which is mainly done in
the rural areas with crude implements.
According to Moses (1983), fish farming is the rational rearing of fish and other aquatic
organisms in man-made ponds, reservoirs, cages and other enclosures in lakes and coastal
waters. It is seen as one of the most ancient occupations of man.
Mathew (1992) defined fish farming (also known as aquaculture) as the art of cultivating the
natural produce of water; the raising or fattening of fish in enclosed ponds, or the rearing of
aquatic organisms under controlled or semi controlled condition.
Fish farming has a substantial history, though its exact origin is still not ascertained. It was
assumed that people who lived near water (streams, rivers, lakes and seas) learnt how to catch
fish at about the same time man began to hunt for animals on land. When it all started, the
catching implements (or gear) were such as arrows, spears and traps (which were also used in
hunting for animals). More specific implements were later developed for catching fish. Fishing
started in China and Egypt for more than 4000 years. The fishing year was accompanied by that
of the fishing craft. Fishing had to be carried out beyond the bank and shorelines and so arose the
necessity for some craft or vessel with which the fishermen could move into deeper waters. The
early fishing crafts were simple devices such as floating logs, bamboo, papyrus rafts and
calabash craft; canoes probably came later as an improvement on these.
The development of sophisticated fishing gear and improvement in vessel design and size were
followed by the improvement in fish detection methods or the invention of new fish finding and
detection equipments such as echo-sounders.
Fish farming came into existence as a result of the sudden depletion of fish. The supplies of fish
in the world’s vast ocean as well as numerous inland waters that once seemed inexhaustible have
almost been used up due to the worldwide population explosion and consequent overexploitation of almost any fishery around the globe. The global demand for fish in this recent
time is rising too fast to provide for the millions of people who rely on it as a basic foodstuff,
according to the BBC news. The World Fish and the International Food Policy Research Institute
estimated that fish production would have to double in the next 25 years to keep up with
In Africa, fish farming is still insignificant at the global level and accounts for about 0.9 percent
of the total global aquaculture production. Research institutes have been promoting fish farming
within the context of integrated agriculture and began addressing socio-cultural and economic
factors that have been impeding countries like Malawi, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and
Furthermore, historical analysis reveals that conventional fish farming was introduced in Nigeria
by Maclaren (1941) and the farm was sited in Ikoyi area of Lagos state between 1949 and 1953.
He established a modern fish farm in Jos, Plateau state of Nigeria. This opened the gateway for
modern fish farming in other states of the country (Ipinjolu, 1984). This later fell into two
distinct periods: 1950-1970 and 1970-1992. The first period popularized fish farming, while the
second period concentrated on the expansion and establishment of demonstrating fish farms in
addition to the bold attempts on reducing major constraints for rapid aquaculture development.
While people continued to exert pressure on the seas, oceans, rivers and local streams for fish,
cultural production of desired fish species went through a slow motion of industrialization in
Nigeria. Over the years, different governments in Nigeria have recognized the relevance of fish
farming but despite the several attempts made to boost their productivity through institutional
reforms and various fiscal and economic measures, the fisheries sector still shows a deficit in the
supply and demand of fish to the populace. It was also thought that the small-scale fish farm was
to be a temporary thing but it has come to stay as a permanent feature of the fisheries in the
developing nations worldwide (Nigeria inclusive). The shift from agricultural production to oil
exploration has accounted for a decline in fish production. It has resulted in billions of naira
being spent on the importation of frozen fish to meet Nigeria's increasing demand put at 1.5
million metric tones per annum whereas the domestic fish supply stands about 600,000 metric
tonnes (The Guardian 2005). The short fall has not been met even with importation. To this
effect, the Federal Government spends about N50 billion annually on the importance of frozen
foods so as to meet the need of its citizens.
In the bid to renovate and establish new fish farms, which has been seen by the government to be
lucrative, it was discovered that about 59 government (state and federal) fish farms have been
abandoned due to the fact that government has limited resources to properly manage and sustain
the facilities in place. Some of these fish farms include:
The Kano State Bagauda fish farm
The Oluponna Federal fish hatchery and farm, Osun state
Panyam fish farm, Plateau state
Oris Aquatics, Lagos state.
Lagos state as one of the centre states in Nigeria is endowed with 144,877 hectares of swamp
much more amenable to aquaculture. About 120 hectares of this have been converted to fish
farms and only 40% of these farms are in production are in production presently. The others are
still under construction or have been abandoned due to poor management; land distinctly suitable
for aquaculture is priced out of the reach of small fish farmers. Affordable alternatives are
invariably covered with sandy topsoil, less than 30% clay content and they are in close proximity
with poor quality water which is not particularly suitable for fish farming such that of all the fish
farms in the state ranging between 0.1 and 1.0 hectares, few are truly commercial in size and
over 90 of all fish farms are located in Badagry area of the state where apparently land is
comparatively cheaper as at now.
However, farm output is not adequately recorded, neither is marketing systemized thus records
and quantification of production and profitability of each fish farm made reliable fish farm
analysis production analysis different in the past. The coming of technology has however
improved production skills and awareness of record keeping for easy quantification of profits
especially in the area of continuous culture, thereby leading to positive results (BBC News).
1.2 Statement of the problem.
NIGERIA is one of the largest importers of food in the world today. In 2010 alone, it spent 97
billion naira on the importation of fish among other foods they import. This is not regarding the
marine resources, rivers, lakes, creeks and good climate and numerous fish farmers we are
blessed with. This is not fiscally, economically or politically sustainable. Nigeria is obviously
eating beyond its means. (Dr Akinwunmi Adesina 2013 unlocking Nigeria’s agricultural
potential to create wealth) while we smile as we consume frozen fish every day, the Nigerian fish
farmers cry because the importation of fish undermines their production.
In Nigeria today, the issue of malnutrition and poverty is on the rise, hence the need for the
provision of adequate food and nutrient especially protein for the rising population. Over 90
percent of the domestic fish supply emanate from fishing in natural waters (Tabor, 1984). Fish
farming entails the use of skills and a game of chance. Attention is now shifting to the rearing of
fish in the environment, which can be controlled with ease.
The aquaculture statistics according to the FAO (2010) reports that fish farming is on the
increase; the fish farmer is becoming an important feature in the whole agricultural production.
The desire to know how productive he can be with the resources at his disposal is the entire
focus. Hence, the study intends to provide information on the resources put together as
productive inputs and the revenue to be derived. Greater improvement in fish production can be
achieved with a proper analysis that will lead to knowledge of the effect of productive inputs on
output of pond fish farming and constraints to pond fish production which constitute the basis for
1.3 Objective of the study.
The main objective of this study is
To appraise the costs incurred and the benefits derived from fish farming for the proper
assessment of the enterprise’s profitability.
To analyze the costs and benefits of fish farming with earthen ponds long side with
To identify the most profitable method of fish farming
1.4 Research Questions.
The research questions in this study include the following:
a) What are the necessary costs to be incurred in setting up a fish farm?
b) What are the benefits to be derived from setting up this business?
c) Is fish farming truly viable?
d) Does the fish farming method affect the yield and profitability of the farmers?
e) What method of fish farming is most profitable for a new fish farmer in Akure?
The hypotheses to be tested in this study are stated in null forms as follows;
H0: There is no significant difference between the mean incomes of the two production systems.
H0: there is no difference between the socio- economic characteristics of concrete tank farmers
and earthen pond catfish farmers.
1.6 Scope of the study.
The scope of this study covers a sub-sector of the agricultural sector, which is a fishery. This will
involve the assertions of the cost incurred in setting up and the benefits to be derived thereafter.
The study will cover fish farms in Akure metropolis of Ondo state and the time frame for the
study will be for about four months.
1.7 Limitation of the study.
The study is limited to the time frame accrued, limited knowledge of the farmers and the access
to adequate materials needed to carry out the study extensively.
Plan of the study.
For better arrangement of this study, the plan carried out is to divide the project into chapters,
Chapter 2: Literature review: This explores the diverse literatures that have been written with
respect to this study.
Chapter 3: Methodology: This section reveals the study area in which the project will be carried
out, type of data to be collected and method to be used in analyzing the data
Chapter 4: Analysis: this chapter is aimed at analyzing and interpreting the data that would be
Chapter 5: This is the last chapter of this study and it contains the Summary, Conclusion and