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Economic Analysis of an Intensive, Zero-Water Exchange, Saltwater Shrimp Culture Demonstration Project in Nicaragua
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Title: Economic Analysis of an Intensive, Zero-Water Exchange, Saltwater Shrimp Culture Demonstration Project in Nicaragua
Physical Description: Fact Sheet
Creator: Lopez, Mayra
Publisher: University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2002
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Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status: Published
General Note: "Published October 2002. Reviewed October 2008."
General Note: "FE361"
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Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
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System ID: IR00001959:00001

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FE361 Economic Analysis of an Intensive, Zero-Water Exchange, Saltwater Shrimp Culture Demonstration Project in Nicaragua1 Mayra Lpez, Charles Adams, James C. Cato, and Donald Sweat2 1. This is EDIS document FE361, a publication of the Department of Food and Resource Economics, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Published October 2002. Reviewed October 2008. Please visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. Mayra Lpez, graduate student in the Department of Food and Resource Economics; Charles Adams, Professor in the Department of Food and Resource Economics, and Florida Sea Grant Extension Specialist in Marine Economics; James C. Cato, Professor in the Department of Food and Resource Economics, and Director of the Florida Sea Grant College Program; and Donald Sweat, Florida Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant Extension Agent in Pinellas County, FL; Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A. & M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Larry Arrington, Dean Introduction Shrimp farming has recently received considerable attention in the United States due to emerging technologies in farm management, water purification, hatchery design/production, maturation, nutrition, and disease management. Worldwide shrimp aquaculture production is approaching one million metric tons (MT) annually. Meanwhile, the U.S. shrimp aquaculture industry was estimated to produce 4,500 MT in 2001 (Rosenberry, 2002). In the United States, there were approximately 45 shrimp farms and 3,500 acres of ponds in 2001 (Rosenberry, 2002). Texas is currently the largest producer of farm-raised shrimp in the United States and accounts for approximately 80 percent of the domestic production of farm-raised shrimp, with South Carolina being second (Florida International Shrimp Harvesters, 2002). Neither of these states is characterized by the same environmental situation as exists in Florida (Florida International Shrimp Harvesters, 2002). Florida is uniquely situated to capitalize upon the current technologies being used in other countries and states to develop a shrimp aquaculture industry that has the potential to be profitable. In particular, the use of lined, earthen ponds with zero-water exchange provides a means to achieve a higher degree of bio-security. This is extremely important in that bacterial and viral contamination in shrimp ponds has resulted in recent dramatic disruptions in production in virtually all major shrimp culture regions around the world. This technology may be well-suited for inland culture systems in Florida. According to the Florida Agricultural Statistics Service, in 2001 there were 13 producers of shrimp in Florida, eight of which reported farmgate sales totaling $7.4 million. Most of this sales figure was post-larvae shrimp being sold as seed to other producers, and the remainder was shrimp being sold for the food market. It was also reported the industry had a total water surface area of 36 acres in 2001,

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Economic Analysis of an Intensive, Zero-Water Exchange, Saltwater Shrimp Culture.... 2 with a potential to exceed 150 acres in 2002. Currently, several shrimp culture operations are poised to expand rapidly. And although numerous attempts at commercial shrimp culture have failed in Florida, shrimp farming may develop into a profitable venture for a limited number of farmers (Florida International Shrimp Harvesters, 2002). Objective Several shrimp culture production technologies exist: enclosed raceways, earthen ponds, and lined ponds. This paper will discuss the economic characteristics of a lined pond system. The information will be useful for prospective shrimp farmers in Florida to make informed decisions regarding the most appropriate culture technology. The reader should note that the system described is for saltwater application and can be a built upland rather than actually in an estuary, where traditional farms are sometimes located. Using this intensive system on inland property provides an environmental advantage. The document provides existing and prospective shrimp farmers with the findings of an economic analysis on an intensive, zero-water exchange shrimp culture demonstration project built in Nicaragua. Capital investment in such an intensive system can be relatively high, but the profit per hectare can be higher than for other technologies. This technology in intensive shrimp culture has been shown to be a potentially profitable alternative to the traditional semi-intensive method used in other shrimp-producing countries. Intensive, Zero Water-Exchange Shrimp Culture Project The intensive, zero-water exchange shrimp culture demonstration project was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It was conducted in cooperation with University of Florida/Florida Sea Grant, Michigan Sea Grant, Aquatic Designs Inc., and Camarones de Nicaragua, S.A. (Camanica). The project was built at the demonstration farm of the University of Central America (UCA) in Puerto Morazn, Nicaragua. Information concerning this shrimp culture project is based upon the report completed by the University of Florida team and is available by contacting the authors. Intensive, Zero-Water Exchange Technology Bacteria are the foundation of the heterotrophic, intensive, zero-water exchange shrimp culture process. A key element of this system is efficient recycling of nutrients through the pond with the use of heavy aeration. This technology does not release effluent (such as feces and bacteria) into natural water resources, and no new water is introduced to avoid water-borne viruses that kill shrimp. Thus with this technology biosecurity is high. Water circulation is induced by the operation of paddlewheel aerators, which also allows locating production inland away from sensitive coastal environments. Site Description The demonstration facility consisted of four one-half-hectare production ponds and two one-hectare settling ponds. Each of the four production ponds was lined with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic liners. Each pond had ten two-horsepower paddlewheel aerators. The four ponds were built during the first half of 2001 and operated for one production cycle from August to December 2001. The system was built within an existing shrimp culture farm that has been used for traditional semi-intensive shrimp farming. The ponds were stocked in late Summer 2001, with the final pond harvested in December 2001. For the trial cycle, Litopenaeus vannamei, a species not natural to Florida, was used. Initial Investment Requirements Total initial investment for the demonstration project was $254,543 (all dollar amounts are U.S. dollars). Of the total, $4,100 was for feeding equipment; $65,416 for permanent equipment; and $185,027 for earthwork, ponds, liners, electrical, water control structures and miscellaneous equipment. Total cost per hectare for the prototype facility was $127,272 (Table 1).

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Economic Analysis of an Intensive, Zero-Water Exchange, Saltwater Shrimp Culture.... 3 Production Economics of the Zero-Water Exchange Shrimp Farming Demonstration Project Actual production for the four one-half hectare demonstration ponds was 20,008 pounds of shrimp after one production cycle. Average production per hectare, per cycle for the four one-half hectare pond system was 10,004 pounds of shrimp. With two production cycles possible during a given year, total annual production at this rate could be 40,016 pounds of shrimp. Actual average survival rate was 29.69 percent, while actual weighted average size of the harvested shrimp was 13.29 grams (heads-on) [Table 2]. Actual production levels, survival rates, and harvest size per animal were lower than predicted. However, it is anticipated that predicted levels can be achieved as the operators gain more expertise with the system and improvements are made based on what was observed during the initial production cycle. Cost and Returns Budgets for the Zero-Water Exchange UCA Demonstration Project The analysis represents one production cycle. These data were then projected to two cycles to estimate what may be achieved on an annual basis. The detailed budgets include revenue, operating costs, and gross profit in total U.S. dollars per harvested pound (heads-on) and per seeded hectare. Table 3 presents unit cost and prices used to determine annual operating expenses for the UCA zero-water exchange system, while Table 4 presents both the predicted values and the adjusted production costs and revenues after completing the first production cycle. Based on the actual demonstration project results, total projected operating expense would be $30,147 on a per hectare basis, while total projected revenues would be $20,508, given a market price of $2.05 per pound (heads-on). The latter results in a negative net revenue of $9,639. However, it is important to note that the December 2001 market prices in Nicaragua for shrimp were at the lowest in a number of years. At a market price of approximately $3.00 per pound, a break-even situation would have resulted. Note that total cost per pound of harvested shrimp was $3.01. Sensitivity Analysis A sensitivity analysis was also conducted to show variations in the intensive, zero-water exchange culture system. The sensitivity analysis provides potential investors with some insight into the production and financial risks associated with the zero-water exchange system. Tables 5 and 6 show the variation in costs and net returns of (1) predicted values and (2) projected values, based on actual data obtained from one real production cycle, for an annual operation, as average shrimp price per pound (heads-on) varies. Four different shrimp prices per pound were considered: $2.50, $3.00, $3.50, and $4.00. On a per harvested pound and per seeded hectare basis, the break-even price for the UCA prototype farm is any price above $3.00 per pound of shrimp harvested if an annual production of 40,016 pounds of shrimp is achieved and production costs remain constant as those incurred in the one real production cycle. Conclusion Various projects have shown that the relatively more biosecure, intensive, zero-water exchange system has the capacity to manage the White Spot Virus and other viruses better than semi-intensive farm methods in Nicaragua. The zero-water exchange technology also has the potential to be profitable, given that technical recommendations (such as zero water exchange during the grow-out period, high stocking densities, ponds adequately lined and aerated) are applied. The yield per hectare generated by the intensive, zero-water exchange technology can be higher than most of the other methods of shrimp farming. However, additional work with the zero-exchange system is needed to reveal its true capabilities. Readers should note that the system described above was used in a saltwater application. In Florida, the use of saltwater is not advised due to environmental concerns and the high cost of coastal property. Using this intensive system with freshwater on inland property may have potential in Florida, but additional costs, including wells, acclimation of post-larvae, etc., must be considered. Even with the latest technological advances and with a good crop of shrimp, the profitability of shrimp farms also depends

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Economic Analysis of an Intensive, Zero-Water Exchange, Saltwater Shrimp Culture.... 4 upon market prices. Therefore, prospective Florida shrimp farmers need to evaluate and investigate potential markets, potential production systems, business risks, financial requirements, zoning, and other regulations (Elovaara, 2001). References Elovaara, Arnold K. 2001. Shrimp farming manual. Practical technology for intensive commercial shrimp production. http://www.aquaculture.cx [visited on September 10, 2002]. Florida Agricultural Statistics Service. June 2002. Aquaculture. http://www.nass.usda.gov/fl. Florida International Shrimp Harvesters. 2002. Shrimp farming. Future of the industry. http://www.shrimpfarm.net/index.html [visited on September 2, 2002]. Lpez, Mayra, Charles Adams, James C. Cato, and Donald Sweat. 2002. Cost and returns budgets for an intensive zero water-exchange shrimp culture demonstration project in Nicaragua, 2001. Florida Sea Grant College Program, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Rosenberry, Bob. 2002. Personal interview. Editor/Publisher of Shrimp News International. October 3, 2002.

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Economic Analysis of an Intensive, Zero-Water Exchange, Saltwater Shrimp Culture.... 5 Table 1. Cost to construct the zero-water exchange demonstration project at UCA. Total Cost (US dollars) Feeding Equipment Feed Storage 2,500 Feeders 1,600 Sub-total feed equipment 4,100 Permanent Equipment Aeration Equipment 20,969 Pumps 15,850 Electrical Generators 25,953 Scientific Equipment 2,644 Sub-total permanent equipment 65,416 Other Costs Pond Construction Earthwork 46,438 Setting ponds (1 ha) Grow-out ponds (1/2 ha) Canals/Reservoirs Roads/Drains HDP pond liners 39,093 Electrification 32,715 Wire/Panels Water control structures 43,677 Piping/Sluice gates/Valves House/Office 13,921 Office Equipment 9,183 Sub-total other costs 185,027 TOTAL DIRECT COSTS (US dollars) 254,543 Cost Per Hectare (US dollars) 127,272

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Economic Analysis of an Intensive, Zero-Water Exchange, Saltwater Shrimp Culture.... 6 Table 2. Production assumptions based on first cycle of demonstration farm. Production Variables Predicted Actual Projected 1 Cycle 2 Cycles 1 Cycle 2 Cycles Total Seeded PL/pond 2,300,0004,600,000 2,300,0004,600,000 Stocking Density (PL/m2) 115 115 115 115 Survival Rate (%) 55.00 55.00 29.69 29.69 Harvest Size (g) Fixed 13.50 13.50 13.29 13.29 Number of Cycles Per Year 1 2 1 2 Feed Conversion Ratio 1.73 1.73 2.44 2.44 Total Seeded Hectare 2 4 2 4 Total Seeded Hectare in m2 20,000 40,000 20,000 40,000 Total Pounds Harvested (2-ha farm) 37,370 74,740 20,008 40,016 Pounds Harvested/Ha (head-on) 18,685 18,685 10,004 10,004 Table 3. Unit costs based upon first cycle of demonstration farm (U.S. dollars). Units Predicted Actual Projected 1 Cycle 2 Cycles 1 Cycle 2 Cycles Average Shrimp Price ($/pound) 3.00 3.00 2.05 2.05 Postlarvae ($/1,000) 5.22 5.22 5.22 5.22 Feed ($/pound) [excluding shipping cost] 0.21 0.21 0.21 0.21 Shipping Cost ($/pound) 0.11 0.08 0.14 0.10 Fertilizer/Chemical ($/Hectare) 625.74 625.74 625.74 625.74 Fuel ($/Hectare) 2,933.162,933.16 3,433.163,433.16 Direct Labor ($/Pound Harvested) 0.15 0.15 0.28 0.28 Indirect Cost ($/Hectare) 21,547.49 11,054.02 18,900.35 9,552.72

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Economic Analysis of an Intensive, Zero-Water Exchange, Saltwater Shrimp Culture.... 7 Table 4. Cost and returns budget for UCA zero-water exchange demonstration project (U.S. dollars). Predicted Annual Actual Projected Annual Total 1 Cycle Total 2 Cycles Per Harvest Pound Per Seeded Hectare Total 1 Cycle Total 2 Cycles Per Harvest Pound Per Seeded Hectare Pounds Harvested 37,37074,740 20,00840,016 Price ($/pound) 3.003.00 2.052.05 Total Revenue ($) 112,110224,2203.0056,05541,01682,0332.0520,508 Operating Expenses Postlarvae ($) 11,99523,9910.325,99811,99523,9910.605,998 Feed ($, includes shipping cost) 20,51837,6360.509,40917,17630,9520.777,738 Fertilizer/ Chemicals ($) 1,2512,5030.036261,2512,5030.06626 Fuel ($)5,86611,7330.162,9336,86613,7330.343,433 Direct Labor ($) 5,60011,2000.152,8005,60011,2000.282,800 Indirect Costs ($) 43,09544,2160.5911,05437,80138,2110.959,553 Total Operating Expense ($) 88,326131,2791.7632,82080,690120,5903.0130,147 Gross Profit ($) 23,784 92,941 1.24 23,235 (39,674) (38,557) (0.96) (9,639)

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Economic Analysis of an Intensive, Zero-Water Exchange, Saltwater Shrimp Culture.... 8 Table 5. Cost and net returns per harvested pound for UCA zero water-exchange system at different price levels (U.S. dollars). UCA Prototype Farm Predicted Projected Total Area in Production (hectare) 2 2 Production (pounds/hectare/cycle) 18,685 10,004 Expected Annual Production Level 74,740 40,016 Per Pound Harvested Price ($/pound) 2.50 2.50 Total Revenue ($) 2.50 2.50 Total Operating Expense ($) 1.75 3.02 Gross Profit ($) 0.75 (0.52) Price ($/pound) 3.00 3.00 Total Revenue ($) 3.00 3.00 Total Operating Expenses ($) 1.76 3.02 Gross Profit ($) 1.24 (0.02) Price ($/pound) 3.50 3.50 Total Revenue ($) 3.50 3.50 Total Operating Expenses ($) 1.76 3.03 Gross Profit ($) 1.74 0.47 Price ($/pound) 4.00 4.00 Total Revenue ($) 4.00 4.00 Total Operating Expenses ($) 1.77 3.03 Gross Profit ($) 2.23 0.97

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Economic Analysis of an Intensive, Zero-Water Exchange, Saltwater Shrimp Culture.... 9 Table 6. Cost and net returns per seeded hectare for UCA zero water-exchange system at different price levels. UCA Prototype Farm Predicted Projected Total Area in Production (hectare) 2 2 Production (pounds/hectare/cycle) 18,685 10,004 Expected Annual Production Level 74,740 40,016 Per Seeded Hectare Price ($/pound) 2.50 2.50 Total Revenue ($) 46,713 25,010 Total Operating Expense ($) 32,726 30,192 Gross Profit ($) 13,986 (5,182) Price ($/pound) 3.00 3.00 Total Revenue ($) 56,055 30,012 Total Operating Expenses ($) 32,820 30,242 Gross Profit ($) 23,235 (230) Price ($/pound) 3.50 3.50 Total Revenue ($) 65,398 35,014 Total Operating Expenses ($) 32,913 30,292 Gross Profit ($) 32,484 4,722 Price ($/pound) 4.00 4.00 Total Revenue ($) 74,740 40,016 Total Operating Expenses ($) 33,007 30,343 Gross Profit ($) 41,733 9,673