The story of aquaculture in Nigeria is essentially the story of catfish culture and the hope of fish supply in Nigeria hang on its development and culture. Recent trends all over the world, point to a decline in landing from capture fisheries, an indicator that fish stocks have approached or even exceeded the point of maximum sustainable yield. Aquaculture therefore remains the only viable alternative for increasing fish production in order to meet the protein need of the people. Catfishes of the family Claridae comprise the most commonly cultivated fishes in Nigeria.
The growth of aquaculture in Nigeria now is largely being boosted by a steady rise in catfish culture. Inadequate availability of seed for stocking and feed used to be major problems. Tremendous progress is now being made. The total value of the industry today is US$800 from the value of fingerlings, feed and farmed fish. Since the culture of Clarias gariepinus through hypophysation was initiated in Western Nigeria in 1973, the procedure has been widely practiced throughout Nigeria thus leading to increase of farm-raised catfishes from the 80’s to date. The favoured catfish species in Nigeria aquaculture include: gariepinus, Heterobranchus bidorsalis, Clarias, Heterobranchus hybrid (Heteroclarias) and Clarias, nigrodigitatus. Heterobranchus sp. is the more commonly cultured fish in the south eastern parts of Nigeria. African catfish is popular in the market and has great potentials to boost the rapidly growing Nigerian aquaculture.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Fish farming has not been fully explored as a strategy to reduce poverty levels despite its potential to improve livelihoods in rural communities. Low productivity, prohibitive establishment costs, high farm-level losses and inefficient marketing often pose a problem. The low level of productivity results from lack of appropriate production knowledge and skills, suboptimal stocking and/or overstocking, poor fish population control methods and inadequate feeding due to costly feeds. Complications arise from high capital requirements for establishing a fish farm, especially for excavation, stocking of fingerlings and installation of protective chain link. The losses at farm-level arise from predators such as snakes, monitor lizards and birds, and from improper harvesting and post-harvest techniques. Inefficient marketing results from a lack of farmers ability to integrate production and marketing activities. It is therefore imperative that youth and farmers are supported to initiate fish farming using the fish farm approach through provision of startup fingerlings and other technical inputs for developing business plans.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. To promote fish-farming in Nigeria and contribute to increased household incomes.
2. To facilitate the development of fish farm project into a modern fish farm project in Edo State.
3. To highlight the problem associated with small scale fish farm in Oredo.
4. Make some recommendation on how these problems could be solved so that fish production could be more profitable.
5. To provide a basic for future research on this topic and will also be useful to students who have interest in small scale poultry business.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1. On completion of this study. It is contemplated that the research finding would help in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State.
2. The justification of the study would be seen from the point of view of the fact that the research finding would help in advising and counseling of people hoping to take poultry farm farming either as a small scale or full scale business venture.
3. It will also serve as reference materials for further finding it will also be useful to government in identifying areas where fish farmers in the local government area or the school fish farm can be assisted in order to increase production.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research work only covers farmers in Oredo Local Government Area.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study examined small scale industries and some of the problems which affects small scale fish industries include;
1. Inadequate capital.
2. Area of study limitation.
3. Problems of disease and parasite.
4. Inadequate extension services.
5. Inadequate feeds and the condition attached to the grant of loans small scale fish farmers.