Economic differential of integrated fish, rice cum piggery and fish, rice cum poultry production systems
Sustainability of any aquaculture venture especially for enhanced food security and socio-economic development of the target population is the challenge of the new millennium. With the right environment and best management practices (BMPs), the envisaged expectations of the integrated investment can be achieved. This paper compares the economic performance and environmental friendliness of two adaptive integrated aquaculture systems at Njala University fish farm, Sierra Leone. The studies were carried out for six months (June-November, 2014). Fish, rice cum piggery and fish, rice cum poultry production integration platforms were set up to perfect the ideas of integrated fish farming in Sierra Leone. Water quality parameters measured biweekly included: dissolved oxygen, water temperature, pH, water hardness, water alkalinity, ammonia, nitrate, BOD and nitrite. These parameters were determined using Jenway analytical probes and Pondlab multi-parameter kits. Three samples were collected in thoroughly washed 600ml water bottles at each sampling point. Water quality parameters determined in the studies were found to be within the recommended range for the culture of tropical fish species and were not also statistically significant (p<0.05). However, the pH of adaptive research platform (ARP) was slightly acidic. Economic analysis gave a negative incremental benefit and Net Present Value (NPV) for the fish, rice cum piggery synergy in the first year. The calculated benefit/cost ratio for the pig, rice cum piggery production was positive but below 1 (0.87).The system had a negative NPV (-Le 2,990,708), and a payback period of 1.33 years; a net profit of Le 8,944,000 with a gross profit margin of 0.46. The fish, rice cum poultry production, however, gave a positive NPV (Le 841,930.32 (US189.3)) and a cost – benefit ratio of 1.02. Net profit, Gross Profit Margin and the payback period calculated for the investment were Le 13,892,000, 0.34 and 0.98 years, respectively. The poultry project broke even and payback in the first year while the piggery project did not but can only break even and pay back in the second year of production. The culture of genetically poor fish fingerlings, high construction costs of the adaptive research platform, scale of operation and pricing of the farm produce were seen as major causes of reduced profitability. The results obtained from the study, clearly indicate that the two integrated synergies have the potential to help solve the problems of hunger and poverty in Sierra Leone, especially among the rural poor that constituted more than 70% of the population.
Key words: Cost-benefit, Integrated aquaculture, Water quality, Sierra Leone,