The current and anticipated demographic changes worldwide are expected to increase fish and other animal protein consumption. Capture fisheries alone cannot meet these requirements. Aquaculture offers a way out if it can further be developed. However, in most developing countries, aquaculture is still in its infancy and the evidence on the industry is quite thin. We assess the profitability of small-scale aquaculture production in Zambia using primary data collected through a structured questionnaire that was supplemented with focus group discussions with individual fish farmers. The analysis combined descriptive statistics, enterprise budgets, and financial analysis tools. The profitability of the aquaculture venture was determined using the indicators of investment returns including, net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR) and benefit-cost ratio (BCR). The results from the profitability analysis show positive net revenue, NPV and IRR. The Benefit-Cost Ratio is also greater than one, implying that investment in aquaculture production is a profitable and viable business venture for small-scale farmers. The results reveal that over the useful life of the ponds, which is assumed to be 10 years, the estimated NPV is 17,524.13 ZMW and the IRR is 42.38%, measured at the discount rate of 15%. The positive NPV implies that the aquaculture enterprise is feasible and profitable.
Key words: Aquaculture, profitability, Zambia
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