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PROJECT TOPIC- EVALUATION OF HEALTH AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN FISH FARMS IN ABUJA AREA, NIGERIA

PROJECT TOPIC- EVALUATION OF HEALTH AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN FISH FARMS IN ABUJA AREA, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

In view of high demand for fish product and consequent indiscriminate establishment of fish farms in Abuja area, this study was carried out to evaluate factors affecting location, personnel structure, management practices and health status of fish farms, marketing methods and constraints to fish production in the area. Constraints and solutions to the practice were proffered. A questionnaire was designed and face-validated by four experts. Cronbach alpha was used for the reliability test and an overall reliability coefficient of 0.87% was obtained. This was used in collecting information from farm workers and data were collected from on-going management practices. Stratified random sampling technique was used to select 60 fish farms out of the total of 271fish farms, 5 each from the 12 Local Government Areas that made up the study area. They included the 6 Area Councils of the FCT (Abuja, Gwagwalada, Kuje, Bwari, Kwali, and Abaji), four Local Government Areas (LGAs) from Nasarawa state (Karu, Keffi, Kokona and Nasarawa)
and two LGAs from Niger state (Suleja and Tarfa). A total of 120 medium sized live fish suspected to be sick were thus selected from 20 farms. Sixty (60) of them were used in the examination and diagnosis for ecto and endoparasites (using the gills and intestines), while the other half (60) were used to isolate and identify bacteria from their skin. All data collected were subjected to descriptive statistics where necessary. Main factors identified affecting location of fish farms in the study area were availability of land (68.3%), water (16.7%) and demand for fish (11.7%). Other factors such as security and availability of feeds (3.3%) were negligible. Most farm managers (88.3%) were male, majority (86.7%) were resident in the farms, while a small percentage (3.3%) were trained fishery officers. On the whole, an average of 3 workers maintained a farm at cost of N69,513.52 per worker. Structurally, 75% of ponds were of concrete types, 21.7% were earthen, 3.3% tanks and 1.7% natural types. For water supply, 68.3% sourced water from
boreholes, 18.3% from streams, 10.0% from taps and 3.3% from spring. Main production system was monoculture (66.7%), while Clairas species (71.1%) was the fish of choice. For farm security, 28.3% use mosquito nets, 26.7% use security men and 23.3% use dogs mainly. Majority of the farms (83.3%) used commercial feeds, 11.7% formulated feeds without a feed mill, while 5% had their own feed mills. Supplemental feeding was carried out in 78.3% of farms surveyed. Eighty three percent of harvested fish were sold live. Most farms (78.3%) engaged in on-farm sale of products, while 56.7% of farm owners sell their products. Major constraints militating against fish production in farms were inadequate capital in 70% of farms, high cost of feeds in 50% and poor skills in 21.7%. Out of the 20 farms evaluated for diseases, ectoparasites (leeches and lice) were isolated and identified in endoparasites (cestodes, nematodes and trematodes) in 8, while gram negative and positive bacteria were identified in 12 farms but only gram positive bacterium was isolated from the 13th farm. In conclusion the author advocates for; more in-service training and involvement of womenfolk in fish production business, sourcing of low feed ingredients and formulation of local feeds in farms mills, provision of low interest credit facilities for farmers, formulation of profit oriented marketing strategies and encouraging veterinarians and livestock extension experts to get involved in health and extension services.

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

Food of animal origin provides high quality energy, protein and a variety of micro-nutrientsfor man. Thus Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO, 2009) highlighted that about 16% ofman’s energy and 34% of protein constitute total contribution of animal food products of the worldfood supplies. Meat is the major contributor, followed by milk, and then fish and eggs in that order(McDonald et al., 2002). In particular, protein consumption by man varies from country to countrydepending on the levels of development and availability of resources.

McDonald et al., (2002)further noted that about 55.5 grams of animal protein is consumed per/person/day in mostdeveloped countries which is above the world recommended average of 28g. Protein consumptionrate reached 34g/person/day in Burundi, 11.4g in Ghana but only 8.0g in Nigeria against 35.0grecommended for developing countries (FAO, 1992).Evidently, FAO (2009) highlighted that Nigeria rates least among 47 countries evaluatedfor its animal protein consumption in sub-Saharan Africa. This is attributable to uncontrolled population growth, rapid urbanization and a widening gap between demand and supply of food forher teeming population (Tewe et al., 1998).

The population of Nigeria is estimated at about 167million by the year 2011 and it has been rationalized that fish farming could be a less expensivemeans of providing animal protein for this population.Dada et al., (2004) stated that many factors are acting as impediments to the supply ofanimal protein food in Nigeria. These include prevalence of diseases, fluctuating pasture qualityand quantity, limited water availability, poor quality breeding stock and religious discrimination.Poultry which flourished in the 70s in Nigeria has almost been wiped out by the frequent outbreakof diseases, lack of improved stocks and high cost of poultry feeds.

Fish therefore, seems to be the only animal protein source which has no serious socioculturalconstraints to its production and in-take. Indeed 40% of animal protein food consumed inNigeria comes from fish (FMA, 1981). Aihonsu et al., (2006) had reported that traditionally, fishon the average generally appear cheaper than meat. Thus fish is considered a more effective sourceof animal protein in human diet to supplement proteins from plant source. Protein from fish isknown to contribute about 8.4 percent of total protein derived from ingested foods in Nigeriandiets. The protein contents of fish and fish products are higher than those of other similar fooditems such as meat and eggs.

PROJECT TOPIC- EVALUATION OF HEALTH AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN FISH FARMS IN ABUJA AREA, NIGERIA

The authors also acknowledged that fish food has a high nutrient profile superior to allterrestrial meats. Eyo (2001) had earlier argued that fish meat is less tough and more digestiblewhen compared with other meat types.There is no doubt that demand for fish in Nigeria is at very high rise against the shortsupply. In view of high rising human population and demand for scare but costly animal proteinfoods in Abuja area, fish farming is considered an appropriate means for bridging the gap betweenhigh demand and supply. Consequently, new and less experienced farmers are lured into fish farming inthe area when they may not have adequate knowledge of principles and management skills needed tosustain high productivity and efficient marketing of the product. One of the approaches for promotingsatisfactory fish farming in the zone is to evaluate critical factors affecting production and methods neededto overcome arising constraints.

1.1 Justification

There is fast growing human population within Abuja and the nearby states, with highdemand for scarce and costly animal protein food. Fish food has all the potential for meeting thisdemand. Hitherto, there was no record of the dynamics of these emerging fish farms. This is inspite of the dire need for such information which will guide fish farmers to attain optimum productivity. This information lacuna is militating against proper planning to achieve sufficientand affordable animal source food within the study area, thus the need for this study.

1.2. Objectives

The specific objectives of the study were;i. to evaluate the factors affecting location, personnel structure, management practices, feedsand feeding, health status of fish,ii. to assess the marketing strategies being applied, andiii. to determine the constraints of fish production in the study area.

PROJECT TOPIC- EVALUATION OF HEALTH AND MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN FISH FARMS IN ABUJA AREA, NIGERIA

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