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Title: Production practices and breeding objectives for fish farming in Western Kenya
Authors: Omasaki, Simion,Kipkemboi
Keywords: Fish farming
Issue Date: Nov-2010
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: This study aimed at generating knowledge towards increased farmed fish production Firstly, sets of structured and semi-structured questionnaires, focus group discussions and participant observation were used to collect information from 102 fish farmers in a cross-sectional survey in three selected districts in western Kenya. Results show that most fanriers ranked cattle first, followed by fish, goat/ sheep, poultry and bees, respectively. Fish were kept mainly for sale whenever cash was needed and food. Famiers owning Oreachromis niloticus were predominant (56.8%) to those owning (37.3%) mixed species (i.e., Clarias gariepinus, O. esculentus and 0. variabilis). Growth and size were ranked as the most important traits. Secondly, a deterministic model was developed and applied to evaluate biological and economic variables that characterize smallholder fish production systems utilizing O. niloticus. The traits considered were; growth and survival rates (for both fingerlings and grow-out fish), live weight at sale, egg hatchability, and fecundity. Two situations were considered: (i) fixed shoal-size and (ii) fixed feed resource. The model predicted revenues and costs to the system using a profit equation. Revenues were from sale of table~size fish, fingerlings and cull-for-age fish, while costs included those incurred for feed, husbandry, marketing and fixed assets (fixed costs). Of the total output, revenues were highest from sale of fingerlings ($36.00) and grow-out off-take ($11.68). For fixed shoal-size economic values (EVs) per female fish per year were: 11.80 for fingerling growth, -0.02 for live weight gain of grow-out fish, 7.92 for live weight at sale, 0.15 for eggs produced per averaged size mature female, 11.92 for hatchability, 14.13 for fingerling survival rate and 6.60 for grow-out survival rate. Sensitivity analyses of EVs for the traits to changes in prices of feed, fingerlings and table-size fish under a fixed shoal-size and fixed feed resource basis of evaluation were carried out, and the results showed that all EVs were sensitive to price changes (positively or negatively), an indication that future EVs for traits might change dependent on the levels of output and prices. Thirdly, a set of derived indices were used to estimate genetic gains with different EVs. The indices maintained the direction of genetic change in several traits but the level of genetic gain for each trait was dependent on the index applied. Generally, utilization of O. niloticus in the smallholder fish production systems in Kenya was profitable and achieving genetic improvement in both production and functional traits would have a positive effect on the profitability of the system.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Agriculture

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