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Fish is a major source of food for humans, providing significant portion of the protein intake in the diet of large proportion of the people, particularly so in developing countries. Fish is less tough and more digestible compared to beef, chicken and mutton. Moreover, has little or no religious rejection that gives it an advantage over pork and beef (Kumolu-Johnson and Ndimele, 2011). The African catfish, Clarias gariepinus Burchell (1822) is a remarkable and fascinating species, as it is extremely hardy and withstands adverse environmental condition and habitat instability. It is hardy and does not easily succumb to disease and feeds all types of biowastes .The fish can efficiently assimilate a wide variety of animal and plant proteins. Growth of this fish under natural condition is fast. The predatory, cannibalism and voracious feeding habit of this fish catch the impression of the farmers to culture them in natural inland freshwater bodies. Moreover the faster growth rate and relative higher market price of this fish has been luring the famer to take up its culture.
1.1 Background of the Study
Fish is a major source of food for humans, providing significant portion of the protein intake in the diet of large proportion of the people, particularly so in developing countries. Fish is less tough and more digestible compared to beef, chicken and mutton. Moreover, has little or no religious rejection that gives it an advantage over pork and beef (Kumolu-Johnson and Ndimele, 2011).
The African catfish, Clarias gariepinus Burchell (1822) is a remarkable and fascinating species, as it is extremely hardy and withstands adverse environmental condition and habitat instability. It is hardy and does not easily succumb to disease and feeds all types of biowastes .The fish can efficiently assimilate a wide variety of animal and plant proteins. Growth of this fish under natural condition is fast. The predatory, cannibalism and voracious feeding habit of this fish catch the impression of the farmers to culture them in natural inland freshwater bodies. Moreover the faster growth rate and relative higher market price of this fish has been luring the famer to take up its culture.
Fish production and consumption
In recent years, capture fishery production has been flat, at around 90 million tonnes per year, while aquaculture has continued to show sustained growth – currently around 6.5 percent a year - faster than all other food sectors (FAO 2012, FAO 2013 and FAO 2014). In 2011 it amounted to 62.7 million tonnes. Some gains in capture fisheries might be possible by adopting better management through an eco-system approach, but significant increases are unlikely. However, it has been estimated that if all inputs were available, aquaculture could provide 16 – 47 million additional tonnes of fish by 2030 (Hall et al., 2013). A comparison of capture fisheries and aquaculture production in the top five aquaculture producing countries in 2011. It is interesting to note that in four out of the five top aquaculture producers the output from aquaculture exceeds that from capture fisheries. Only in Indonesia, a vast archipelago is capture more than aquaculture.
A total of 156 million tonnes of fish was produced from all sources in 2011, of which 132 million tonnes was available for direct human consumption. In 2014 alone, Nigeria imported 8000 metric tons of fish and thereby employing foreign producers to feed Nigeria thus depleting our hard earned resources and foreign exchange.
Gomna and Rana (2015) reported an annual fish consumption of 5.8 and 9Kg/caput years to meat in Lagos state in the southwest Nigeria. Despite the fact that fish is the most consumed source of animal protein in Nigeria, the level of consumption is still far below the world average, as reported by The Food and Agriculture Organization Corporate Statitical Database (FAOSTAT, 2005). In addition, substantial proportion of the fish consumed in Nigeria is still being imported, hence the need to expand local production to meet the increasing demand and save the country from available negative balance payment.
Nigerians are high fish consumers with a total current consumption figures of about 2.0 million metric tonnes, with an annual fish import figure of about 700,000 metric tonnes (FAO, 2005 and Okeke et al., 2014).Meanwhile, the study of fish consumption is worthwhile, not only in determining national and localized fish requirement but in the final analysis in satisfying public demand for fish products. Research has show that Nigeria current demand for fish consumption in the country stands at about 3.2million metric tons per annum .Nigeria produces a total of 1.1million metric tons leaving a huge gap of 2 million tons in the supply of fish and fish products(FAD 2016).
Fish and human nutrition
Fish plays an important role in fighting hunger and malnutrition. Fish is not only a source of proteins and healthy fats, but also a unique source of essential nutrients, including long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, vitamin D, and calcium. The multiple benefits of fatty fish high in omega-3s and small fish eaten whole containing nutrients in the skin and bones clearly illustrate seafood’s irreplaceable nutritional value. An increased focus on fish and nutrition aids both developing countries and the developed world. In many developing countries, fish is the main or only source of animal protein, and is essential for providing micronutrients to vulnerable populations. Fish can sometimes serve as a solution to existing health problems.
For instance children’s neurodevelopment, often undervalued parts of the fish, like the head, viscera, and back-bones make up 30-70% of fish and are especially high in micronutrients. It has increased from 9 kg per capital in 1961 to approximately 20 kg per capita today.
1.2 Statement Of Problem
Catfish(Clarias gariepinus) so far has being the most available species in Nigeria that suit the tropical region for culture in aquatic environment which is also a cheap and the most affordable animal protein to the common man provides up to 40% of animal protein consumed by an average Nigerian (FOS, 1990: Fagbenro, 2004). The citizens in AWKA, ANAMBRA state is faced with two main choices – either they preferred consuming the fresh or the smoked dried Clarias gariepinus. The choices of each individual depend on a number of factors. Some of these factors include: family use, knowledge of Agriculture and general educational level, income, age, occupation etc.
This project focuses on determining the socio-economic factors that affects consumers’ preference for fresh and smoke dried catfish in Awka, Anambra state, and also how the preference for fresh and smoke dried catfish is affected by taste and package as well as cost and availability of the fish.
This project’s problem also aims at answering some questions which will have to be answered in order for the state to be able to make proper policies to either increase the production of fresh catfish (Clarias gariepinus) or to encourage the processing of fresh fish into smoke dried product .
Some of these questions include
· Are there any significant difference between the consumers’ preference for fresh catfish and smoke dried one based on socio-economic factors?
· Which is the most preferred fish among fresh and smoke dried fish?
· How do the prices of the fish products and the income of the consumers affect their consumption of fish?
1.3 Justification of the Study
Although many researchers have studied consumers’ preferences for both fresh and smoke dried catfish products in Nigeria. Amongst them are Jimoh WA, Popoola MA, Ibrahim GA, Ayeloja AA, Ayanwale AOS,Ladipo and Fabiyi (1981), Adesimi and Aderinola (1983),Oniye and Adegboye (1986),Adeniyi (1986, 1987), Akinosho GA (2013), They carried out their studies in different locations across the country. However, no work has been done on the consumer’s acceptability of fresh and smoke dried catfish in Awka Anambra state.This research is to assist the fisheries experts, economist and nutritionists with the information which can be useful in their works and research, also this research will also help the farmer to either to market catfish (Clarias gariepinus) fresh or to smoke dry it depending on the consumers acceptability.
The evaluation of consumers’ preference for fresh and smoke dried fish products can be used for production planning and distribution of fish across the country (Adeniyi, 2010, 2011).
This work will look into the functional relationship between the type of fish consumer chooses to consume and some selected variables which will reflect the socio-economic status of the residents of Anambra state, thereby furnishing fisheries experts, Agricultural firms, those responsible for allocation of Agricultural and Aquacultural utilities in the government, sociologists and even economists with the information useful for their work.
1.4 Aims and Objectives
The broad objective of this study is to evaluate the consumers preference on fresh and smoke dried catfish (Clarias gariepinus) products in Awka, Anambra state.
The specific objectives are as follows:
(1) To determine the market segment having higher demand and advice fish producers on production line as appropriate
(2) To determine the relationship between the average income and the forms of catfish consumption in the study area
(3) To determine the relationship between the educational level and the forms of catfish consumption in the study area
1.5 Scope of the Study
The project sought to investigate effect of the socio-economic status of the people of Awka, Anambra state on their preference of catfish. Two research methodologies were use to investigate and capture data about this preferential differentia. Several different method of primary data collection was used to capture and record the diverse responses, for example, literate members was given the sample questionnaire to fill by themselves, while to those that can’t read and write, was questioned and the questionnaire waas filled based on their responses.
The questions posed in the survey were deliberately exploratory in other to discover the respondents’ social-economic status so as to critically relate them to their difference in the preference of fish.
The major problem encountered was that most of the respondents were not encouraging in time management. They were reluctant in filling the questionnaire because some of them thought it might affect them in one way or the other, some were complaining of hunger even requested for money before the fill the questionnaire while other refused totally to fill the questionnaire without any reason.
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