PROFITABILITY OF CATFISH PRODUCTION IN ENUGU METROPOLIS, ENUGU STATE, NIGERIA
Keywords:Catfish, Farmers, Production, Profitability, Productivity
The study was carried out in Enugu Metropolis, Enugu 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 and identified constraints to catfish production in the study area. Data were collected from 120 respondents who were purposively chosen in the three Local Government Areas that made up Enugu Metropolis, using questionnaires. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, the Gross margin model and a 3-point Likert type rating scale. The study showed that 61.7% of the respondents were males with a majority (95.0%) below the age of 45 years. The study revealed that from every 1000 fingerlings that were stocked, 980 catfishes were harvested with an average weight of 1.5kg in a period of 6 months. The catfish farmers expended an average total cost of N575,168 and made an average total revenue of N1,176,000. This indicates a survival rate of 98% of catfishes that was reared in the area. The gross margin analysis revealed a gross margin of N652,700.00 with a net farm income of N600,832.00 for every 1000 catfishes that were raised to maturity at1kg. For every 1N invested in the business, there was a return of N1.25 (RCI). The study concludes that catfish production in the study area was dominated by males in their active age who were well educated. Catfish production was very profitable in the study area. The constraints facing the farmers were the high cost of feeds, insufficient capital and poor extension services. 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 catfish 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.
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