Title : Effects of open water availability on aquaculture pond productivity and efficiency an empirical study
Intensive pond aquaculture production is increasing and playing major role in global aquaculture production especially in developing countries. Empirical evidences show that the access to and exchange of fresh water in pond aquaculture systems is important for making pond production ecologically more sound, efficient and productive. This study investigates productivity and efficiency differences between farms with access to open water resources and farms without access using data obtained from 311 interviews with tilapia farmers in Bangladesh. Propensity Score Matching (PSM) and meta-frontier DEA have been employed to estimate productivity and efficiency differences between the groups. Results show that farms located in areas with access to open water resources are significantly more efficient, however a bit surprisingly less productive than farms located in areas with deficit access to water resources. Furthermore, output could be increased by 29% and 40% without increasing input in areas with access and deficit access to water, respectively. Thus, promoting intensive aquaculture pond production in areas with access to water resources should focus on how to increase productivity, while areas with deficit access should focus on optimal use of input in order to improve water quality and efficiency.