This study evaluated fish farming as a panacea to socio-economic development in Eti - Osa Local government area of Lagos State. The empirical survey research design was used for the study. 74 randomly selected farmers in Eti-Osa local Government area of Lagos State were selected for the study, comprising of 53 males and 21 females. The results revealed that in terms of age, majority (55.4 per cent) of the sampled fish farmers, in the study area have their age range between 31 and 40 years. Furthermore, the results also showed that the mean of the total variable cost per fish farming cycle was N980,544.68, the mean of the fixed cost with the total cost was N142,000.00, the total revenue was N 3,048,000.00 with the net income of N1,925,455.32. This implied that the level of production of fish farming in the study area was profitable. There was a significant relationship between fish farming and the socio-economic development in the study area. Similarly, there was significant relationship between the constraints of the enterprises and the income of fish farmers in Eti – Osa Local Government

Area, Lagos State. Therefore, it was concluded from this study that fish farming in Eti Osa Local Government Area plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of the people. However, variables such as finance, number of ponds, costs of feed and labour among others significantly affect the level of fish production in the study area.

1.1 Background of the study
The supply of fish in the Nigerian markets is steadily on the decline in the recent time due to some factors which include overfishing, high interest rates on loan among other things. Fish is a valuable source of complete protein with the most balanced amino acid profile (Olawusi Peters, 2008,). The flesh of fish is similar to that of meat in structure, but contains a greater percentage of water and more easily digested than meat. Adeyemo (2003) also reported that fish and fish based products provide cheap but high quality protein compared to bush meat, poultry and beef. Apart from protein, fish also contains a wide variety of vitamins which include vitamins A, B (thiamine, riboflavin, nicotinic acid) C, D and E. Fish compliments meat as the cost of the latter is beyond what most Nigerian can afford (Adedokun, et al, 2006, Oladimeji et.al,2013). In Nigeria, the artisanal fishery covers operation of small motorized or non-motorized canoes by fishermen in the coastal areas. This provides jobs for over 400,000 fishermen in the coastal areas and members of their families (Akegbejo-Samsons, 1997). Quite a sizeable proportion of the Nigerian population especially people in coastal, riverine and lake areas of the country, earn their living from fish processing and marketing while others engaged in fisheries research (Soyinka and Kusemiju,2007; Bolarinwa, 2012).

The fisheries sub-sector of the Nigerian economy is made up of artisanal, industrial and cultured fisheries. The artisanal covers the operations of small-scale canoes, fisheries operating in the coastal areas, creeks, lagoons, inshore water and the inland rivers. The artisanal fishery is characterized by low capital outlay, low operational costs, low technology application and it is labor intensive (Adedokun et al., 2006, Bolarinwa, 2014).

A major agricultural sub-sector where achieving food security has become elusive in Nigeria is the fish production subsector. Demand for fish in Nigeria stands at about 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum while domestic production is just 511,700 metric tonnes. The nation spends about N150 billion (US$1billion) annually to bridge the gap between supply and demand (CBN, 2011) consequently, several policy measures have been put in place to stimulate local fish farming. Till date, the results from the colossal investment and policy have not yielded the desired results. Recent threats all over the world, point to a decline in landing for capture fisheries, an indicator that fish stocks have approached or even exceeded the point of maximum sustainable yield. From statistical data on fish production in Nigeria, production has declined from 1984 till date to less than 400,000 metric tonnes when compared with 508,000 metric tonnes in 1982. (FDF, 2008). Food even more than clothing or shelter is the indispensable necessity of mankind. Despite various efforts to increase fish production, not much has been done to increase the productivity, profitability, activities, and problems of artisanal fishermen in Lagoon water. Increase in fish production will contribute to the well-being of the economy as a whole as this will improve the nutrition of the nation. Improvement in the nutrition of the nation will amount to national progress.

However, despite the efforts of government, there is still a deficit in the supply and demand for fish by the population (Dada, 2014).

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nigeria has a population of over two hundred million people and has her national fish demand at over 1.5 million metric tones. The current annual aquaculture production is around 500,000 metric tones. These combined with ever decreasing catch (due to over exploitation) from the capture fisheries have not been able to meet the ever-increasing protein demand of the country. Thus, the challenge to increase protein consumption in Nigeria appears to be more urgent now than ever. Poor people are facing new barriers in both their production and returns on fish. Even by the standards of developing countries, fish farmers and fish workers are often among the poorest people and they generally operate on a small scale and use traditional fishing practices, yet new technologies and environment requirement favour large scale capital intensive operation at the expense of traditional and small scale commercial fishing (Delgado et al, 2003). Whereas small scale fish farming supplies the greatest percentage of the Nigerian’s annual fish production output (FDF, 1995).

Regrettably, the supply of food fish has been on the decline. This is due to consistent declines from the country’s major source of food fish, the homestead fisheries, from 90% in 1990 (Tobor, 1990) down to 40% in 2006 resulting to about 300,000 metric tonnes (Global Agriculture Information Network, GAIN, 2007). According to Osawe (2007), domestic fish production is put at 551,700 metric tonnes as against the present national demand of about 1.5 million metric tones estimated for 2007. The shortfall is said to be bridged by the importation of 680,000 metric tones annually consuming about N50 billion in foreign exchange (Odukwe, 2007). Thus, it is worthy of note to evaluate fish farming as panacea to socio economic development in Eti – Osa LGA of Lagos State.

1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of the study was to investigate Fish farming as a panacea to socio economic development in Eti - Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The specific objectives of the study were to:

1. Ascertain the role of fish farming as a solution to well-being of residence of Eti – Osa, Local Government Area of Lagos State.

2. Determine the costs and returns structure of fish farming in Eti – Osa, Local Government Area of Lagos State.

3. Assess the challenges encountered by fish farmers in Eti – Osa, Local Government Area of Lagos State.

1.4 Research Hypotheses
To aid the effective completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0: Fish farming does not play any significant role in the socio economic development of Eti Osa Local Government Area.

H1: Fish farming does play a significant role in the socio economic development of Eti Osa Local Government Area.

H02: Fish farming do not have advantages over other forms of farming in Eti Osa Local Government Area.

H2: Fish farming do have advantages over other forms of farming in Eti Osa Local Government Area.

1.5 Significance of the Study
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to Lagos state house committee on agriculture and ministry of agriculture as the study seek to evaluate the numerous benefit of fish farming as solution to socio economic development of Eti Osa Local Government Area.

The study will also be useful to researchers who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the study will serve as a reference point to further studies.

Finally, the study will be of great importance to reporters, academia’s, students, teachers and the general public as the study will add to the pool of existing literature and also contribute to bank of knowledge in the subject matter.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The scope of the study covers the evaluation of fish farming as a panacea to socio economic development in Eti Osa Local Government Area Lagos state. In the cause of the study, there are some factors which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of research materials: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study. Also, it was expected that some of the fish farmers would be unable to respond to the research questionnaires by themselves due to low or no level of education; so, interview schedule were used to collect data from them.

b) Time: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study. Finance: The finance budgeted for the study was a major constraint to the scope of the study, as the researcher has limited resources at his disposal to combine both research work and other academic engagement.

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