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The study focused on the economic analysis of fish farming and its contribution to household poverty alleviation in Akure South and Owo Local Government Areas of Ondo State, Nigeria. A multi stage sampling technique was used to select 100 fish farmers for the study during the 2013 production cycle. Data obtained were analyzed using descriptive statistics, net farm income analysis, Tobit regression model, expenditure approach of determining poverty line, Foster, Greer and Thorbecke technique and z-test. Results of the study showed that 63% of the fish farmers were still within the economically active age bracket of 20-49; 80% of the respondents had tertiary education while 70% had an average of 4 years of farming experience. Earthen pond was used by about 78% of the respondents to culture fish; 88% of the farmers practiced monoculture while 12% practiced polyculture. Significant determinants of intensity of fish farming were pond size (0.0004), number of ponds (0.1051), feed (0.6411), start-up capital (-0.6771), labour (-0.0003), years of experience (0.0105) and level of education (0.0169). An average quantity of 3,097.00 kilogram of table size fish was harvested from an average pond size of 353.00m2 at the end of the production cycle. The net farm income analysis showed that fish farming was profitable in the study area with a profit of N2,432.37/m2 being realized by a farmer at the end of the production cycle. At 0.05 probability level, the calculated z value was statistically significant and thereby ascertained the positive contribution of fish farming to household poverty alleviation. Notable problems facing fish farmers were high cost of fish feed (33.06%), inadequate capital (22.98%) and inadequate market (12.09%). The study recommended that farmers should be trained on how to compound feed used in raising fish. It is also recommended that increased credit facilities toward aquaculture by financial institutions will help farmers to expand their scale of operation and practice modern culture system such as re-circulatory aquaculture system.



1.1 Background of the Study

Fish farming is the rearing or production of fish in a semi-controlled environment like ponds, cages, tanks, irrigational canals, reservoirs and other types of enclosures (Ayodele and Ajani, 1995). It is a well-established industry in many parts of the world especially in Asia and Africa. Modern-day fish farming is traced to ancient China in Southeast Asia as well as ancient Egypt in North Africa and the Roman Empire in Europe where food fishes were produced in static and limited ponds. The process of production was described as extensive whereby fish were cultured or raised in an environment similar to their natural habitat (Wedemeyer, 2016).
Fish farming as an economic activity was first introduced into Nigeria about 66 years ago with the establishment of a small experimental station at Onikan in Lagos State, Agodi in Ibadan, Oyo State, and an industrial farm (20 hectares) at Panyam in Plateau State by the Federal Government of Nigeria (Ayodele and Ajani, 2015). Since the establishment of fish farms was spear-headed by the Federal Government of Nigeria, fish farming had received some attention from the government through her programmes on agriculture such as the establishment of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Project and the Presidential Initiative on Aquaculture in 2015.
Among the different food production systems around the world, fish farming is widely seen as an important weapon in the global fight against poverty, malnutrition and food insecurity, particularly within developing Countries like Nigeria and Ondo State in particular.


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