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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Economics, Marketing, and Policy Impacts on Catfish Production

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Project Number: 0500-00031-001-06
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 25, 2013
End Date: Dec 31, 2014

Objective:
1) Conduct an economic analysis of various farm-raised catfish production systems and technologies to estimate the cost of production under various input costs and output prices; 2) Collect catfish production and sales data from raised-raised catfish producers, processors and industry organizations to identify quantities of raw fish produced, types and quantities of catfish products processed, and the geographic locations where these products are sold in the U.S.; 3) Analyze consumer acceptance of farm-raised catfish versus competing fish/seafood products in various product forms at selected locations across the U.S. outside of the traditional southern states.

Approach:
Agricultural enterprise budgeting methodology will be employed to estimate the cost of producing farm-raised catfish under a variety of production systems, including several new technologies recently developed or currently under development. Three innovations of particular interests are: hybrid catfish varieties, split-pond designs, and vaccine delivery systems. Capital budgeting techniques will be used in conjunction with baseline enterprise analysis to evaluate the economic feasibility of investment in split-pond and vaccine delivery systems. Personal contacts with producers, processors and industry organizations will be conducted to collect basic production, processing, product types/categories and sales information. Using these data, a better understanding of the U.S. farm-raised catfish sector can provide vital information for industry analysis. Consumer acceptance for farm-raised catfish will be identified through taste testing in restaurant locations and consumer focus groups outside the south. Taste testing evaluation will identify consumers’ preferences for farm-raised catfish versus competing products and assist is identifying consumers’ willingness to pay for catfish and various product attributes. An on-line survey instrument will be developed to collect desirable characteristics of catfish compared to competing fish/seafood products.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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