Female fish farmers: How technically efficient are they? Evidence from Delta State Nigeria
Abstract: The study investigated the technical efficiency of female catfish growers in Delta State, Nigeria. Data have been obtained using questionnaires from 112 female catfish farmers who have been randomly selected. Descriptive statistics, cost and return analysis as well as the stochastic model have been used in the analysis of data. The results showed that the mean age, farming experience and household size of the female fish farmers were 42 years old, 8 years and 6 persons respectively. Most of the participants are married and educated. The gross margin and net farm income were N490,378.46 and N416,242.82k respectively. With a rate of return on investment and a BCR (Benefit Cost Ratio) of 0.64 and 1.64, fish farming was found to be profitable. The Stochastic frontier outcome showed that the size of the pond, fingerlings, feed and water supply had a significant and positive effect on fish production, while the cost of medication had an inverse relationship with fish production. Age, education and household size have been found to increase technical performance, while technical inefficiency is increased by distance from farm location and credit access. The finding further revealed that a female fish farmer had a technical efficiency of 53.5% in the area of study. This is a signal that by implementing the technologies practiced by the best farmers, fish productivity can be improved by about 46.5% by the farmers. The coefficient of elasticity was 0.567, which indicated that the female catfish farmers were in Phase II. The failure of farmers to reach the production frontier may however be due to certain factors, including insufficient funding, high feed costs, water supply and fingerlings shortages. On the basis of the results, female fish farmers should be supported by means of professional training in fish production practices to ensure that their resources are optimally utilized.
Keywords: female catfish farmers / water supply / technical efficiency
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