Economics of aquaculture production: a case study of pond and pen culture in southern Ghana
This study was carried out in four regions in Southern Ghana with the objective of assessing the demographic profile of farmers and determining the profitability of the industry. A structured questionnaire was used to collect primary data from 74 pond and 13 pen farmers in the selected regions. The results showed that species mostly cultured were tilapia (O. niloticus), catfish (Clarias sp.), Heterotis sp. and snakehead (Parachanna sp.). Descriptive analysis showed the ponds were generally larger than pens. More than 50% of the total farmers had between one and two ponds or pens. The average net returns were US$ 0.55 and US$ 0.42 m-2 for pond and pen culture respectively, making both systems profitable. On a regional basis, pond aquaculture was most profitable in the Western Region. From the results, both pond and pen aquaculture are presently a profitable venture in Ghana that will continue to attract more potential investors even in the next decade. Pond aquaculture was classified into small-, medium- and large-scale operations. Results indicated that small-scale operations were economically non-viable under the present situation, with large scale operations being the most profitable. The main constraints affecting production were lack of capital, fish predators and poaching.