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PROJECT TOPIC-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF FISH MARKETING IN THE RURAL COMMUNITIES OF EBONYI STATE

PROJECT TOPIC-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF FISH MARKETING IN THE RURAL COMMUNITIES OF EBONYI STATE

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Increasing demand for fish products has resulted in the growth of fish farms worldwide to meet a substantial part of the world’s food requirement, of which China contributes a major portion. Total production from fish farming reached (inland and marine) 7.4 million t in 1980, 16.8 million t in 1990, 35.5 million t in 2000 and 47.8 million t in 2005 (FAO 2007). Fish farming provides important services including supporting nutritional well-being, providing feedstock for the industrial sector, making contributions to rural development, increasing export opportunities, more effective administration of natural resources and conservation of biological diversity.

Farming is a multi-disciplinary science, not only bio-technical and environmental factors, but also socio-economic issues. Economic research assists both farmers and policy makers (Shang 1994). Sector-oriented economic studies and analyses in aquaculture are important to determine the profitability of aquaculture resources and the efficiency of resource usage, but also to improve operational management, evaluate new production techniques in terms of economics, to display market potential and to find new research areas (Neiland 1994).

Fish marketing is a vital economic activity and livelihood component of rural communities living beside rivers and river floodplains in East Africa (FAO 2007; Mbugua 2008). It provides a good alternative source of income for rural communities, particularly women, since it can be carried out with minimal investment close to homesteads and can be integrated into existing farming systems (FAO 2010) Through fish marketing, the protein requirements and fish consumption needs of the populations can be adequately met (Na-Nakorn and Brummett 2009).

In Kenya, aquaculture contributes to an estimated 2% of the total fish produced and is practiced mainly under smallholder mixed farming systems, where farmers grow crops and keep livestock in addition to fish farming (Export-Processing-Zone-Authority 2005; Mbugua 2002). Smallholder aquaculture farmers operate mainly in the medium to high agricultural potential areas, and tend to farm for household needs rather than purely economic objectives (MOLFD 2007). However, in order to raise incomes for rural smallholders through aquaculture production, a shift towards a more business oriented approach is required.

Market margin is an important indicator of market performance (Olukosi & Isitor, 1990). The middlemen performing the role of marketing are being accused of earning higher profits in the marketing system (Bryceson, 1993). Marketing is a process of exchanging goods and services from one person to another with reference to price. A fish market is a place used for marketing of fish and fish products.

However, fish marketing essentially consists of all the activities involved in delivering fish from one producer to the consumer, while distribution provides channels that link the marketing institutions and producers together. As the fish like any other production moves closer to the ultimate consumer, the selling price increases since the margins of the various intermediaries and functionaries are added to it.

Over the years different governments in Nigeria have recognized the relevance of the fisheries subsectors, which are composed of the marine, brackish and freshwater. Several attempts were made over the years to boost their productivity through institutional reforms and various fiscal and economic measures. Some of these measures involved tax exemption and input subsidy schemes for distribution to fishermen to stimulate increased production.

Despite all these forms of external intervention in the development plans, the fisheries sector still showed a deficit in the supply and demand of fish to the populace. It was also thought that the sub-sector was a temporary phase of transition to the industrial sector, but today the small-scale fisheries have come to stay as a permanent feature in the fisheries of   developing nations worldwide, Nigeria inclusive.

Nigeria is blessed with a vast expanse of inland freshwaters, marine and brackish ecosystem, which are very rich in aquatic life. Tall (2004), however, observed that Nigeria’s fish production volume of 0.5 million tonnes cannot meet the annual demand of 1.3 million tonnes. Average annual fish consumption in the country has therefore stagnated at 9.2 kg per capita, which is quite below the world average of 13kg per capita, a situation that resulted in a huge supply and consumption gap. The Inter Academy Council has also reported that future projections indicate a wider supply demand gap (IAC, 2004). Over 90% of domestic fish supply in Nigeria comes from artisanal capture fisheries.

PROJECT TOPIC-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF FISH MARKETING IN THE RURAL COMMUNITIES OF EBONYI STATE

1.1 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY.

The broad objective of this study is to determine the economic analysis of fish marketing in rural markets within ebonyi state.

1.2.1 Specifically

  • It aims at identifying the economic constraints that affect the various fish markets/settlements.
  • Identify the nature, socio-economic structure of the market and investigate the potential for growth in the fish market.
  • Access the level of demand and consumer preference for different fish whether fresh, smoked, dried, ice, or fried.
  • Identify the factors affecting the quality and quantity of fish marketed in the study area.
  • Determine the cost of different species of fish found in the market and different species found in the market.
  • Make recommendation based on the findings of the study.

1.3   JUSTIFICATION.

Fish supply and marketing suffer from various setbacks ranging from shortage of supply, price fluctuation due to drying up of the source, spoilage in transit etc. (Tomek&Robinson, 1981). Despite these, the agencies involved in the marketing of the commodity appear to be on the increase as a result of increase in the population and therefore, the demand tends to be high. Tomek and Robinson (1981) indicated that increase in concentration implies more scope for the middleman to exploit either the consumers by charging high or the producer by paying them lower price.

Nigeria offers the largest market for fisheries products in Africa. Fish production from capture fisheries in spite of its being expensive and risky in the coastal line regions of Nigeria has been erratic and on the decline in recent years, resulting in increase in poverty and nutritional deficiency. Fish production and marketing remains the best option to bridge the gap between the total fish demand and total domestic production in the face of high cost of production input and unstable government policy. This study enumerates the factors affecting economic of fish marketing in rural communities of Ebonyi state.

PROJECT TOPIC-ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF FISH MARKETING IN THE RURAL COMMUNITIES OF EBONYI STATE

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