The study of the socio-economic characteristics of any group is a requirement to a successful implementation of effective government assisted programme. The study examined the socio-economic characteristics, production processes and production constraints of small-scale catfish fishing enterprises in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area in Rivers State, Nigeria. Simple randomized sampling technique was used to select 60 small-scale catfish farming enterprises. Structure questionnaires were used to collect primary data from the respondents. The collected information were analyzed using simple descriptive statistics. The results showed that majority of the farmers were females (58%), married (74%), within the age group (31-40 years), Christians (92%), Igbo tribe (22%), and had university degree (58%) with household size (6-10). Majority have fish farming as primary occupation (32%), 1-5 years of experience, non-members of association (83%) and chose fish farming for profit maximization (50%). Based on this study, different aquaculture production systems were identified at the study area such as concrete tanks (34%), plastics tanks (20%), concrete+plastic (20%), earthen ponds (12%), earthen+concrete (8%), and earthen+plastics (6%). Respondents purchased land (66%), kept record (52%), used imported feed (52%), flow-through techniques (88%), monoculture as culture system (66%), stocked Clarias gariepinus (88%), bore-hole as water source (96%), procured fingerlings from private farms (84%) and personal savings as source of funding (86%). Some of the constraints like lack of extension service (76%), disease outbreak (52%), lack of capital (44%), lack of electricity (38%), preservation and processing (18%), lack of skilled human labour (10%), and lack of government assisted programmes (0%) were faced. In conclusion, catfish farming promises to improve in the area if there is adequate government assistance.
Key words: Catfish, Clarias gariepinus, production constraints, production processes, small-scale.
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