Market assessment of farmed fish in selected sub counties of Kasese District
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This study was undertaken to assess the market for farmed fish and fish products in the Western Highland Agro-ecological Zone (WHAZ) particularly in Kasese District, in seven (7) selected sub counties. The sub counties were: Mpondwe, Nyamwamba, Maliba, Kyondo, Karambi, Kyarumba and Bugoye. The study was conducted from December 2018 to March 2019. The study objectives that formed research questions were mainly: to identify the different farmed fish and fish products marketed and the means of their distribution, to determine the quantities of fresh fish Marketed and sold in the selected sub counties, to determine the market prices for the different farmed fish products, and to identify the constraints faced in marketing farmed fish and fish products. A list of known fish farmers/traders was obtained from Kasese District Fisheries office, to identify and select 6 traders from seven sub counties. All together, a total of (45) fish sellers residing in the mentioned 7 sub counties were randomly selected using pragmatic approach; and data gathered using a structured questionnaire interview. Descriptive statistics, excel spread sheet compatibility mode, and Garrett`s ranking were done to answer the objectives. Findings indicated that most traders (68.9%) were females, aged (> 41years), with completed primary as highest education attained and majority of females (46.7%) married. The most (57.8%) traded farmed fish product was African catfish, sold fresh. Others traded included: Nile tilapia (fresh), salted tilapia, and salted catfish being the least marketed. Larger quantities of farmed fish were marketed and sold in Nyamwamba (887.5±129.703). Prices determined for catfish and tilapia were (6,050±280.85) and (6,292±323.91), sold per kilogram in Ugandan shillings respectively. Tilapia prices were slightly higher owing to preference; though in terms of revenue, catfish was found to be higher (2,589,833±736080.1) compared to tilapia (2,403,958 ± 970222.6) due to the large volumes marketed. Lack of processing knowledge was ranked highest (26.7-Rank1) constraint limiting marketing of farmed fish and fish products. Other significant factors included; high transportation costs (23.0-Rank 2) and inadequate access to finance (18.9%-Rank 3). Thus, market of farmed fish exist in Kasese district; however, there is need to develop a designated marketing system for farmed fish and their prices; a marketing strategy that constitutes marketing segments for different fish products and formation of organized farmer/trader association to facilitate flow of market information and access to production.