Agricultural Economics and Extension Project Topics

Economic Analysis of Catfish Production

Economic Analysis of Catfish Production

Economic Analysis of Catfish Production

Chapter One

Objectives of the study

The broad objective of this study is to analyze the economics of catfish production towards achieving food security in FCT Abuja, while the specific objectives were to:

  1. describe the socio-economic characteristics of catfish producers in the study area;
  2. estimate the costs and returns of catfish production;
  3. estimate the technical, allocative and economic efficiencies of catfish production;
  4. identify the determinants of technical, allocative and economic efficiencies of catfish production;
  5. examine the contribution of catfish production on food security status of farmers;
  6. describe the production constraints faced by catfish producers in the study.



An Overview of Fish Farming in Nigeria

Nigeria is reasonably endowed with large rivers, small water bodies and some natural springs. It also has an extensive coastline of approximately 900km and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of about 217,313 km² (Sea Around Us, 2007). Nigeria has a high demand for fish (1.5 Million Metric Tons (MT)) and a per capital consumption of 7.5- 8.5kg annually (FDF, 2005). Current national production stands at 511,000 MT/annum, thus resulting in a demand-supply gap of about a Million MT. Nigeria currently imports 700,000 MT of fish annually at a cost of some US$400 Million (Ovie and Raji 2006). The artisanal fishermen on the coastal waters supply  about  260,000 MT, while  those  on inland waters contribute about 200,000 MT. The remainder of the 511,000  MT  annual productions comes from industrial fisheries. Thus, fisheries are crucial to the Nigerian economy, contributing 5.4% of the Gross Domestic Product (FDF, 2005). Although contribution of  the  fisheries sector  is  essential  to  agricultural development in Nigeria, more than half of policies and  programmes in  agriculture  development  focus on forest matters while less emphasis is placed on food and animal production.

Fisheries Management Systems in Nigeria

There are three Fisheries Management systems practiced in Nigeria which are:




Description of the Study Area

The study was carried out in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja which lies between latitudes 8°25` and 9°25` N and longitudes 6°45` and 7°45` E (NPC, 2006). It has boundaries with Nasarawa State to the east and southeast, Niger State to the west and northwest, Kaduna State to the northeast and Kogi State to the southwest. Its capital, Abuja, is also the capital of Nigeria. The FCT was originally part of Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi states. It was established in 1976 by the Federal Capital Territory Act of the military government of General Murtala Muhammed. Abuja comprises of six (6) area councils namely; Abaji, Bwari, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Kwali and Abuja Municipal.

The Federal Capital Territory covers an area of 7,753.9 square kilometers (National population commission, 2006) the vegetation combines the best features of the southern tropical rain forest and guinea savanna of the north. It has a population of 1,406,239 (2006 census figures) with a 2014 projected population of 1,804,264 using a growth rate of 3.6% as allowed by National Population Commission (2006). Rainfall is moderate  with a mean annual rainfall of 131,75cm. It has two distinctive seasons, dry and raining seasons. The average rainfall is 1300mm. Over 80% of the entire population is engaged  in agriculture especially in the area of crop production, fisheries and livestock production. Catfish farmers make a significant contribution to the fish consumption of households and economy of the state through the presence of about 1209 registered catfish farmers in the Federal Capital Territory. (FMARD, 2005).



Socio-Economic Characteristics of the Farmers

A total of 155 farmers were involved in the study, socioeconomic characteristics of catfish farmers were considered because of their perceived effects on the agricultural activities of farmers. Table 4.1 summarizes socio-economic characteristics.

Age distribution of catfish farmers

Findings from the study (Table 4.1) reveal that majority (43.8%) of the respondents were within the age bracket of 33–45 years. 7% of the respondents were 58 years and above with a mean age of 42 years. This has the potential to provide labor on the farms since most of the farm operations by small scale farmers in Nigeria are still carried out manually using low technology. This is in line with the findings of Olowosegun et al. (2004), that an economically active age portends better future for catfish production.




The empirical study was carried out to evaluate the economics of catfish production and its contribution to household food security in FCT, Abuja, Nigeria. The findings revealed that the respondents were literate with mean age of 42 years; majority (56%) of the respondents had household sizes between 8 and 14 people. More than half (51%) of the respondents had more than 10 years experience in catfish farming. The result also shows that an average total cost (ATC) of ₦1,520,204.24 was incurred while total revenue (TR) of ₦2,873,521.29 was realized with a gross margin (GM) of ₦1,718,616.84. A net farm income (NFI) of ₦1,353,317.05 with a rate of return of 1.89 which implies that for every ₦1.00 invested, ₦1.89 is gained by the respondents.

The coefficient estimates of the inputs (fingerlings, fish feed and fuel) were positive and statistically significant ranging from 1% to 5% levels of probability implying that an increase in these variables will lead to an increase in the output of catfish. The gamma estimate, which was 0.42, shows that 42% variation in output was resulting from the technical efficiencies of the farmers. The determinants of technical efficiency in the production of catfish showed that age and years in cooperative society significantly increased the farmers‟ technical efficiency.

The variables significantly influencing allocative efficiency of catfish production in the area were costs of fingerlings, feed, transportation and output of catfish which were positive and statistically significant ranging from 1% to 10% levels of probability. Among the determinants of allocative efficiency in catfish production, only household size and years in cooperative society were statistically significant at 10% and 5% levels of probability. The mean technical, allocative and economic efficiencies of the farmers were 0.67, 0.65 and 0.44, respectively. The determinants of economic efficiency showed that education, farming experience and years in cooperative society were positive and statistically significant ranging from 1% to 10% level of probability. This implies that education, farming experience and cooperative society membership have a positive influence on economic efficiency among the catfish farmers.


  • Adekoya B. B and Miller J. W. (2004). Fish cage culture potential in Nigeria-An overview. National Cultures and Agricultural Focus. 1(5): 10-12.
  • Adewumi, A. A. and V. F. Olaleye, (2011): “Catfish culture in Nigeria: Progress, prospects and problems”, African Journal of Agricultural Research, Vol. 6(6): 1281 – 1285
  • Ahmed, M. A. (2015). Determinants of household food security and coping strategies: The case of Bule-Hora District, Borana Zone, Oromia, Ethiopia. Global Journal of Food Science and Technology 3(1): 143 – 152.
  • Aigner D.J, C.A.K. Lovell, and P. Schmidt, (1977): “Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function  models”.  Journal  of Econometrics, 6  (1); 21 – 37
  • Ajibefun, I.A., Battese, G.E. & Daramola, A.G. (2002). “Determinants of technical efficiency in smallholder food crop farming: Application of Stochastic Frontier Production Function”. Quarterly Journal of Agriculture. 41:225-240.
  • Alawode, O.O. and Jinad, A.O. (2014). Evaluation of Technical Efficiency of Catfish Production in Oyo State: A Case Study of Ibadan Metropolis. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies 5(2): 223-231.
  • Amiengheme P. (2005). The Importance of Fish in Human Nutrition. A paper delivered at a Fish Culture Forum, Federal Department of Fish Farmers, Abuja.
  • Ayalew, M. (2009). “Food Security and Famine and Hunger”. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
  • Ballard, T., Coates, J., Swindale, A. and D. Megan (2011). Household Hunger Scale: Indicator Definition and Measurement Guide. Washington DC: FANTA-2 Bridge, FHI 360. Battesse, G.E and Corra, G.S (1977). Estimation of production frontier model with application to the pastoral of eastern austrilia. Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2:169-179.