Aquaculture In Ghana: Economic Perspectives Of Ghanaian Aquaculture For Policy Development
One of the major ways worldwide to supplement low fish catches from the wild is through aquaculture. Ghana has a great potential for aquaculture development, but is still in the developing stages. Most people entering aquaculture do so as a part time activity. This study attempts to demonstrate the profitability of aquaculture in Ghana by performing a cost-benefit analysis for investment in a 2000 m^2 pond for a 10.5 year investment period. Profitability indicators such as NPV, IRR, payback period and benefit-cost ratios were determined based on assumptions derived from secondary data obtained from the Department of Fisheries in Ghana. The study shows aquaculture in Ghana to be feasible and profitable with positive NPV and IRR of 32%, a benefit-cost ratio of 1.18 and a payback period which is slightly longer than four years. A sensitivity analysis shows that the cost of feed, the survival rate as well as the farm gate price of fish are the main factors affecting profitability. The most constraining factor on the development of aquaculture on a commercial level appears to be high start-up cost. Fixed cost constitutes 68.1% of the start-up cost and variable cost forms the other 31.9%. The cost of feed forms the bulk (83.8%) of the variable cost. To address the issue of high costs and the apparent inability of financial institutions to alleviate the problem of moral hazard, the study recommended government policy intervention that seeks to develop clusters of production facilities to be made available for individuals to rent or lease for a period of five years after which they could become owners.