Baseline Socio-Economic Study of Sustainable Integrated Pond Based Aquaculture with Rice and Poultry Production in Nigeria

B T Fregene


Integrated aquaculture production with livestock have achieved major breakthrough in Asia. Despite the several benefit associated with the production system, not much has been achieved in Nigeria. A baseline study was carried out to assess the perception, levels of awareness and adoption of fish farmers to integrated pond based aquaculture with rice and poultry production. The study area was the wet lands located in the North Central (NC) and South West (SW) agro-ecological zones. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected for the study. A three stage stratified sampling method was used to select fish farmers from agro-ecological zones, states, and Agricultural Development Programme zones. Structured questionnires were administered to 100 and 200 registered fish farmers from NC and SWrespectively. Descriptive statistics and linear regression were used for the analysis. Majority of fish farmers were male (82.2%), attained post secondary education (60.5 %), and had fish farming as their primary occupation (35.9%). More of earthen fish ponds are used for culturing fish compared to concrete tanks. Streams and rivers are the main source of water for fish culture in earthen pond, while most aquaculture production was rain fed, operating during the rainy season only. A proportion of 42.4% were able to generate annual profit of more than N 300, 000. The most preferred fish species for culture by the fish farmer was Clarias species, the African catfish. Sales at farm gate (51.1%) was the main form of disposing the cultured fish. Value addition was by smoking (28.6%). Half of the fish farmers (50.4%) favoured integrated pond based aquaculture with rice and poultry. Only 1.8% adopted rice and 6.5% for poultry, but no fish farmer adopted rice and poultry integrated aquaculture production. Statistical analysis revealed that ecological zone (P < 0.01), household size and willingness to adopt integrated aquaculture (P < 0.05) significantly influenced perception of fish farmers to integrated aquaculture. It was concluded that many fish farmers were not aware of integrated fish farming. Fish farmers in the NC are more likely to practice integrated fish farming with rice and poultry compared to the SW. Market outlet through whole sellers and middle men is a major challenge because few fish farmers were involved in value addition. Though profitable the venture may appear, fish farmers have other challenges that must be addressed.

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