This study examined the profitability and efficiency of catfish production in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nigeria. Purposive random sampling technique was used to sample 60 catfish farmers from whom the primary data used were collected with the aid of structured questionnaire. The data were analysed using descriptive statistics, net farm income and stochastic frontier production function. The study revealed that the mean age, household size and fish farming experience of the respondents were 42 years, 11 and 6 years respectively. Most (86.7%) of the respondents were male (86.7%). Catfish farming was found to be profitable with net farm income of ₦1,772,195.00. The mean technical, allocative and economic efficiencies were 73%, 59% and 43% respectively. The study also showed that economic efficiency of catfish farmers in the study area can be improved substantially(57%) with more improvement in cost allocation. Major constraints encountered by catfish farmers were high cost of feed, water inadequacy, capital insufficiency and rodent attack. The study recommended that local feed research that would help reduce cost of feed should be encouraged.


1.1               Background to the Study
The increase in human population coupled with large numbers of undernourished people, especially in developing countries, have made the need for food production a major worldwide issue of concern (Okechi, 2004). Studies have showed that there is a limit to world’s natural stocks of fish and shell fish, though renewable, have finite production limits, which cannot be exceeded even under the best management regimes. Hence, the maximum sustainable fishing limit in natural waters has been exceeded (FAO, 2000). Therefore, fish production will depend on aquaculture to bridge the demand-supply gap of fish.
According to (FAO 2006) production in capture fisheries is stagnating and aquaculture output is expanding faster than any other animal-based food sector worldwide, particularly in developing countries. It contributes nearly a third of the world’s supply of fish products and
China and other Asian countries are by far the largest producers. Unlike terrestrial farming, where the bulk of the production is based on a limited number of species, aquaculture produces more than 220 species; of these species, catfish, carps, tilapia and related fish form the largest group in terms of quantity while other groups include aquatic plants and mollusc (FAO 2006).

Out of 35 grams of animal protein per day per person recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), less than 7 grams is consumed on the average. Many Nigerians suffer from protein deficiency due to low animal protein uptake (Emmanuel and Omotoriogun, 2010). According to Ojo (2008), a small amount of fish is an important dietary supplement for people who cannot easily afford other sources of animal protein.