A major agricultural sub-sector where achieving food security has become elusive in Nigeria is the fish production subsector. Demand for fish in Nigeria stands at about 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum while domestic production is just 511,700 metric tonnes. The wide gap between demand and supply is attributed to increasing population, improved nutrition, underdeveloped local fish farming potentials and depletion of artisanal sources resulting from unsustainable fishing. The nation spends about N150 billion (US$1billion) annually to bridge the gap between supply and demand. This huge amount spent annually constitutes enormous strain and drain on the nation’s foreign reserves especially when the potentials for local production to meet the domestic market and for export exist in abundance. Consequently, several policy measures have been put in place to stimulate local fish farming. Till date, the results from the colossal investment and policy have not yielded the desired results. Hence, this study attempted to examine the factors determining the sustainability of fish farming in Nigeria with a view to stimulating private investment in the sector, meet national market demand through domestic production and export the excess to enhance the income of farmers. Regression and budgetary analyses were used to analyze data obtained from 100 fish farmers in ten local government areas of Osun State. The result showed that the average net income in the study area was N318,640.75 while the gross margin was N457,327.95. The benefit-cost ratio was 1.5 indicating that for every N100 invested, the enterprise yields additional N50. The regression analysis showed that experience of farmers in fish farming, quantity of feed used, access to credit and size of pond were significant determinants of fish farm production in Nigeria. Major challenges confronting fish farming in the study area are lack of access to credit, high cost of inputs and poor extension services.
Key words: Fish farming, inland waters, nutrition, employment, poverty, sustainable, pond.
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