Food is necessary for good health as well as the social and political stability of the society. Fish food provides essential nourishment especially proteins of high biological values. It is highly nutritious, tasty and easily digestive. Enterprise budgeting and descriptive statistics were used to estimate the value of smallholder aquaculture systems on a census population using a semi-structured questionnaire in the South West Region of Cameroon, Africa. It was established that aquaculture is a marginal activity in the region with less than 41 active farmers. 100% of the famers were male with 84.4% above 45 years and 71.9% of them had more than primary level education. The farmers produce only Tilapia (34 tons) and Catfish (49 tons) mainly in small sized pond with statistical mode of 25 m2. All the aquaculture productive systems, extensive, semi-intensive and intensive systems were profitable and significantly different from zero (P <0.01). The variable costs of all the systems were more than 50% to total cost indicating little investment in modern technologies, rendering them traditional. The farmers, therefore, had potentials to increase productivity with targeted training and increase accessibility to fingerlings. However, it was concluded that since aquaculture is profitable, an enabling policy is necessary to increase participation of farmers especially women and youth in order to empower them economically.
Key words: Aquaculture, production systems, cost benefit analysis, Cameroon.
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