Title: Economic assessment of catfish farming in Nigeria: a case study of the federal capital territory.

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The production costs, profitability and importance of inputs management in catfish farming in Nigeria was assessed taking the Federal Capital Territory as a case study. Lists of farmers were obtained from government agencies and major suppliers of fish feed in order to capture unregistered but practising farmers. The survey was carried out using a structured questionnaire and oral interviews during July and August 2019 as well as in January 2020. The farms sampled were categorised into small, medium and large scale. The average annual production cost was higher for medium, followed by small- and large-scale farms. Though the overall profitability assessment as indicated by the GM and NFI shows catfish farming to be profitable, the scale-wise analysis indicates that on average only the large farms were profitable. The profitability analysis revealed lack of profit among small and medium farms although some of the small (50%) and medium (40%) farms also made profits (NFI). Results from the technical efficiency analysis indicate that overall, 64% of the farmers were within the upper band of the index having an efficiency score of 0.70 and above. The estimated output elasticities of all the input variables were positive, except for the number of fingerlings used. The feed and maintenance were the most significant factors influencing catfish production but years of experience of farmers contribute to knowledge of management practices which has resulted in profit. The lack of profitability in most of the farms could not be totally attributed to lack of technical efficiency alone but also to poor economic management. This study identified training of farmers on economic management of catfish farms as a policy measure to ensure catfish farm enterprises are profitable and sustainable.

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