Characterization of the Production and Dissemination Systems of Nile Tilapia in Some Coastal Communities in Ghana
Aquaculture development has been identified as a key process to meeting the demand for cheap and readily available source of protein. The resultant has been the springing up of cages along the Volta Lake with most farmers producing Nile tilapia. However, the sector faces an array of challenges which needs urgent attention. A study was undertaken to ascertain the production systems and dissemination channel of Nile tilapia among farmers along selected coastal regions in Ghana. A survey of 190 farmers representing the fish farming community in the area was used -these comprised 187 males and 3 females. Pond culture and cage culture were the most common holding facilities used constituting 58.8% and 28.9% respectively. The production of all-male tilapia was popular among farmers and constituted 66.8% of production, while the production of mixed sex tilapia formed 25.8 %. The study revealed that the high prices of fish feed and lack of access to finance were the top ranking financial challenge facing fish farmers in the area corresponding to 73.2% and 51.1% of the response respectively. Other factors such as distance to hatchery and price of fingerling was a significant factor affecting the choice of source of fingerling for stocking (P<0.05) for farmers who used dugout ponds. There was no clearly laid down protocol for dissemination the tilapia. Farmers (16%) who undertook dissemination directly supplied fingerlings and broodstock to other farmers. Investment of capital into tilapia production can improve productivity and profitability.