Economic Analysis of Fish Farming and Its Contribution to Household Poverty Alleviation in Akure South and Owo Local Government Areas of Ondo State, Nigeria
Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study was to conduct an economic analysis of fish farming and ascertain its contribution to household poverty alleviation in Akure South and Owo Local Government Areas of Ondo State, Nigeria. The specific objectives were to:
- describe the socio economic characteristics of fish farmers in the study area;
- identify the species of fish and culture systems;
- determine the profitability of fish farming;
- analyze factors influencing the intensity of fish farming;
- estimate the poverty status among fish farmers in the study area;
- ascertain the contribution of fish farming to household poverty alleviation and
- describe problems militating against fish farming in the study
World Aquaculture and Capture Production
Aquaculture and capture fisheries supplied about 142 million tons of fish across the world in 2008, providing an estimated apparent per capita supply of about 17kg (live weight equivalent), with aquaculture accounting for 46 percent of the total food fish supply (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2010). Aquaculture has mainly been a developing world activity, particularly on the Asian continent. Asia accounts for 87% of the world aquaculture production by weight, while China alone is responsible for about 68% of the global aquaculture production. Also, Southeast Asia and India were responsible for about 15% of aquaculture production in 1997 (Delgado et al., 2003). According to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (2010), aquaculture continues to be the fastest-growing animal-food-producing sector and to outpace population growth, with per capita supply from aquaculture increasing from 0.7kg in 1970 to 7.8kg in 2008 and an average annual growth rate of 6.6 percent. While production of fish from aquaculture was less than one million ton per year in the early 1950s, production was 52.5 million tons in 2008, with a value of US$ 98.4 billion.
World aquaculture is mainly dominated by the Asia-pacific region, which accounts for 89 percent of production in terms of quantity and 79 percent in terms of value. This dominance is as a result of China‟s immense production, which accounts for 62 percent of the global production in terms of quantity and 51 percent of the global value. The Caribbean and Latin America showed the highest average annual growth in the period 1970-2008 (21.1 percent), followed by the Near East (14.1 percent) and Africa (12.6 percent). In Europe and North America, the average annual growth in aquaculture production has reduced significantly to 1.7 percent and 1.2 percent respectively (FAO, 2010).
The fish sector is a viable source of income and livelihood for millions of people around the world. Employment in aquaculture and fisheries has grown significantly in the last thirty years, with an average rate of increase of 3.6 percent per year since 1980. It is estimated that in 2008, 44.9 million people were directly engaged, full time or more frequently, part time in capture fisheries or in aquaculture and at least 12 percent of these were women. This figure represents a 167 percent increase compared with the 16.7 million people in 1980. It has also been estimated that for each person employed in aquaculture production and capture fisheries, about three jobs are produced in secondary activities, including post-harvest for a total of more than 180 million jobs in the whole of fish industry. On the average, each jobholder provides for three dependants. Thus, the primary and secondary sectors support the livelihoods of a total of about 540 million people, or 8.0 percent of the world population (FAO, 2010).
Description of the Study Area
The study was carried out in Akure South and Owo Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Ondo State. Ondo State was created on 3 February, 1976 from the former Western State. It originally included Ekiti State, which was carved out in 1996.The capital of the State is located in Akure. Total population of the State as at 2006 was put at 3,460,877, with males accounting for 50.42% and females accounting for 49.58% (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2009). With an annual population growth rate of 2.87%, the projected population of the State in year 2015 is put at 4,354,822 (FGN, 2009). The State has a land area of 15,500km2. The State lies between Latitudes 5045′ and 7052’N and Longitudes 4020′ and 605’E. It is bounded to the East by Edo and Delta States, to the West by Ogun and Osun States, to the North by Ekiti and Kogi States and to the South by the Bight of Benin and the Atlantic Ocean (Sunshine Liberation Forum, 2011).
Akure South LGA has a land area of 331km2 and a total population of 360,268, as at 2006 with males accounting for 178,672 and females accounting for 181,596 (FGN, 2009). With an annual population growth rate of 2.87%, the projected population of Akure South in year 2015 is put at 453,325. It is also the seat of the State Government and quite a number of the people engage in fish farming. The inhabitants are also cash and food crop farmers. They grow cash crops such as cocoa, coffee, kola nut and food crops such as yam, cocoyam, cassava and maize. Demography of the LGA could be described as both urban and as well as rural because of the population size from place to place. It is where many civil servants and farmers call home (www.ondostate.gov.ng)
Owo Local Government Area is one of the 18 Local Government Areas in Ondo State. The name „Owo‟ was derived from the first ruler of the town called Ojugbelu. His pleasant manner and simple way of life earned him the name „Owo‟ meaning respect, and the name was passed on to his followers and descendants. Owo traced its origin to the scenic and ancient city of Ile-Ife, the cradle of Yoruba culture. Owo as at 2006 has a total population of 222,262, with males accounting for 112,056 and females accounting for 110,206 (FGN, 2009). The projected population of Owo in year 2015 is put at 279,672. The present-day Owo is an agricultural centre that is involved in fish farming, growing and trading of yams, cassava, maize, peppers, okra, cocoa and cotton. Other commercial activities in the town include lumbering, soya beans processing etc (www.ondostate.gov.ng).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
Socio-economic Characteristics of Fish Farmers
This section presents the socio-economic characteristics of fish farmers such as age, level of education, gender, family size, farming experience, sources of start-up capital and nature of involvement in fish farming.
Age of fish farmers
Results in Table 4.1 shows that the mean age of fish farmers was 44 years, indicating that majority of the farmers were within the economically active age category (FAO, 1997; Yunusa, 1999). In support of this research finding, Fakoya and Daramola (2005) noted that respondents within this age bracket are innovative and motivated individuals who can cope with challenges that may emanate from farming activities. The age bracket (20 – 49) is an important age category with strength to tackle some of the tasks on the farm. The percentage of fish farmers found to be between the age bracket (20 49) was 63. This age category has the capacity to withstand farm stress and, perhaps explore on how best they can improve their productivities.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The study assessed the economics of fish farming and its contribution to household poverty alleviation in Akure South and Owo Local Government Areas of Ondo State. A multi stage sampling technique was used to select 100 fish farmers for this study. Data were collected using structured questionnaires administered to fish farmers and analyzed using descriptive statistics, net farm income analysis, expenditure approach of estimating poverty line, Foster, Greer and Thorbecke technique for measuring poverty, Tobit regression analysis and z test in order to achieve the set specific objectives.
The study revealed that 63% of the fish farmers were in the economically active age group of 20 – 49 years. The study went further to reveal that 88% of the farmers practiced monoculture (catfish only) and 12% practiced polyculture (combination of catfish and other species of fish). Earthen pond was well used by the farmers to culture their fish as 78% of them made use of it.
The Tobit regression analysis revealed that all the independent variables significantly determined the intensity of fish farming. The calculated z value ascertaining the contribution of fish farming to poverty alleviation was statistically significant at 5% level of probability.
The costs and returns analysis showed that the cost of feeding constituted 78.41% of the total cost of production while cost of stocking pond and labour constituted 11.97% and 7.71% respectively. A kilogram of table size catfish was sold on the average for N532.00 and an average profit of N855,448.45 was realized from an average quantity of 3097.00kg of fish harvested from an average pond size of 353.00m2 and for every one Naira invested in the business there was a profit of N1.08. A poverty line value of N13,856.43 was computed from the consumption expenditure of the farmers and it was revealed from the research findings that 36% of the fish farmers were below this poverty line. Notable among the problems facing fish farmers were high cost of feed, inadequate capital, inadequate market and poaching.
Variables such as pond size, number of ponds, feed, start-up capital, labour, years of experience and level of education determined significantly the scale of fish production in the study area. The costs and returns analysis showed that fish farming was a profitable agricultural business in the study area which makes it an attractive entry point to improve the economic status of fish farmers thereby reducing the level of poverty among fish farming households and in the society at large.
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