Status and economics of freshwater aquaculture in selected countries of Asia

The paper discusses the status of freshwater aquaculture, and the productivity and cost effectiveness of alternative technologies in the major fish producing countries in Asia, such as Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. The analysis is based on field survey data collected by the WorldFish Center and its partner research institutes, and supplemented by secondary information. The paper adopts descriptive techniques to compare the performance of each technology across the countries in terms of productivity, cost effectiveness and profitability. Results suggest that freshwater fish farming is generally profitable in Asia. The semi-intensive polyculture and monoculture of omnivorous and herbivorous species like carps and tilapia are likely to be more suitable for adoption by the poor farmers in Asia. Although the return from monoculture of carnivorous species such as prawn, snakehead and walking catfish is higher than that from culture of omnivorous and herbivorous species, it appears too capital intensive to be suitable for adoption by the resource poor farmers. The paper also performs econometric analysis to examine the determinants of fish production under polyculture and feed demand for the same. The results of the production function analysis reveal that further use of farm-based feed after a certain level of application cannot increase productivity as the law of diminishing marginal productivity sets in. Feed use is largely determined by the income and ownership status of the farmer. Provision of institutional credit and more secured access to the waterbodies would help poor farmers adopt appropriate aquaculture technologies.


Dey, M.M., Rab, M.A., Paraguas, F.J., Bhatta, R., Alam, M.F., Koeshendrajana, S., Ahmed, M. (2005)
Aquaculture economics and management 9(1/2):11-37