Economics of penaeid culture in the Americas
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Shrimp culture in the Americas began in the early 1970's and has experienced rapid growth in some Latin American countries. Currently, Latin America produces one-third of all cultured shrimp with Ecuador as the leading country in the world. Availability of postlarvae and a favorable year-round climate have been the most important factors causing a "Gold Rush" expansion in Ecuador. The long-term potential for shrimp mariculture in Latin America is promising. Projections for 1990 production of cultured shrimp by Latin American countries are between 60,000-70,000 metric tons (mt). Shrimp culture in the United States has begun with the entry of a few small firms. In this paper, investment and production costs are examined for a semi-intensive farm that purchases postlarvae and operates in the southern United States. Total investment decreases as pond size increases for a given size facility. Investment per kilogram of annual average production ranges from just under US $20.00 for a 20-surface ha farm using 2-ha ponds to $80.00 for a 400-ha system using 20-ha ponds. Operation costs per kilogram decline as the size of the system and the size of the ponds increase. It costs $10.10 to produce one kilogram of shrimp on a 20-surface ha farm using 2-ha ponds compared to $5.50 on a 400-surface ha farm using 20-ha ponds. In comparing the operation of a semi-intensive 200-ha farm in Ecuador with a similar farm in the United States, costs of production were $3.12 and $5.83 per kilogram, respectively. The after-tax internal rate of return (IRR) was 59% in Ecuador and 21% in the United States. These IRR's were calculated under the assumption that production, costs and prices received are constant over the investment period (10 years) considered. When risk and timing of investment are considered, these IRR's are reduced.
Griffin, W., Lawrence, A., and Johns, M. (1985). Economics of penaeid culture in the Americas. In Taki Y., Primavera J.H. and Llobrera J.A. (Eds.). Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Culture of Penaeid Prawns/Shrimps, 4-7 December 1984, Iloilo City, Philippines (pp. 151-160). Iloilo City, Philippines: Aquaculture Department, Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center.