Nigerian agriculture is currently characterized by low productivity, low level of technological adoption and use of inefficient production techniques. This has resulted to reduced food production. Fishery sector in Nigeria plays an important role in terms of national food security, employment, enterprise development and foreign exchange earning. Increasing efforts to raise the productivity of fishery can be an important measure to address the problem of food insecurity as well as reduced unemployment in the country. This study examined the economics of artisanal fishing in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State. Specifically, the objectives were to determine the profitability of artisanal fishing, evaluate the effect of socio-economic characteristics and inputs on output of artisanal fishing; identify artisanal fishing practices; identify and compare constraints to the full exploitation of the potentials associated with natural fishing sites and make recommendations on ways to evolve sustainable artisanal fishing based on findings. A multistage sampling technique was used for selecting one hundred and twenty (120) respondents for the study. Data was collected by survey methods and analysed using descriptive statistics, costs and returns analysis and multiple regression. The cost and return analysis of the enterprise show that the enterprise is profitable. The double-log functional form of regression was chosen as the lead equation. Results show that the output of artisanal fishing housing is positively associated with labour, capital, operation costs, fishing experience and number of years spent in school. The t-ratio for labour, capital, operating costs, fishing experience and number of years spent in school by households are significant at 5 percent level.

Results of the study also showed that 68.3 percent of the respondents fall between the ages of 26 and 45 years. 51 percent of the respondents have a fishing experience of more than 15 years while 47.5 percent have no formal education; about 65.8 percent of the respondents operate as part time fishermen; 92.5 percent have no access to agricultural credit; 65.83 percent have no access to extension services. Storage facilities are lacking or poorly developed with 70 percent of the respondents having no access to storage facilities. Based on the findings from the study, it is recommended that Adult and Nomadic Education be incorporated by policy makers for fishing communities. Strict conditions on collaterals for accessing credit by fishermen should be relaxed to enable more fishermen access loans for increased fish production. Infrastructural facilities such as schools, cold rooms and kilns be provided in fishing communities to reduce rural-urban migration and post harvest losses of fishery products. Government should provide subsidy on fishing gears and crafts to encourage artisanal fishing.

1.1      Background Information

One of the major roles played by fisheries in the economy of Nigeria is its contribution to the dietary needs of the populace. Increased food production, both in quantity and quality is necessary to build a healthy nation. Animal protein is essential for proper growth, repair and maintenance of body organs and tissues (Moses, 1983). Proteins obtained from livestock such as cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and poultry in tropical regions are generally very expensive. Fish protein contains the essential amino acids such as methionine, lysine, tryptophan which are absent in proteins of plant origin (Lawal, 2002). Fish oil contains unsaturated fatty acids, which are low in cholesterol, and thus a regular intake of fish oil harbours lower risk of heart attack, which might result from deposition of cholesterol in blood vessels. According to Madu (2000), fish is eaten all over the world and no religious or cultural restrictions are known to forbid its consumption.

Lawal (2002) reported that about 35 percent of the world’s fish catch is used for the production of fishmeal and oil. The greatest amount of the products is fed to poultry. Fishmeal product has high protein content (60-75%), making it a valued ingredient usually commanding a higher price than any other protein concentrate except milk powder. Fish oil is a valuable raw material for hydrogenation and is used in direct human consumption as margarine. Most of the world’s fishmeal is made from pelagic species, rich in oil. Nigeria generates about 10 million US dollars annually in foreign exchange through the exportation of shrimps (Mabawonku, 1986). Apart from the dietary use, production of livestock feeds and earnings of foreign exchange, fisheries offer direct and indirect employment opportunities to the people of the country (Asaku, 1997). Direct employment from fisheries involves those who are directly engaged in fish production, processing and marketing. Fisheries offer indirect employment to people who are engaged in the production of fishing inputs and fishing vessels, floats, sinkers, nets, lanterns, matchets and fish finders. Others indirectly employed in fishery industry include fish canners, owners of restaurants and manufacturers of livestock feeds.....

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Item Type: Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 67 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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