Economic effects of production scale, use of agricultural greenhouses, and integration of tropical aquaculture species when farming in a subtropical climate

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2022-01-01

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Fresh and local production of tropical fish species are growing in demand in subtropical and temperate regions. However, their productions are limited by the short growing season and uncertainty related to using agricultural greenhouses. Thus, this study evaluated the economic feasibility of Amazon River prawn (Macrobrachium amazonicum) and tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum) grow-outs in monoculture and integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) systems carried out in a subtropical region of Brazil, considering the transfer of the fish to agricultural greenhouses to complete the grow-out during the winter season. Simulations were performed of each system on small- (1 ha) and medium (5 ha)-sized properties to test the effects of production system and scale on cost return and cash flow, economic indicators, and sensitivity (risk) to productivity and market changes. Treatments were prawn monoculture (PRWN), tambaqui monoculture (FISH), IMTA of prawns and tambaqui reared free-swimming (IMTA), and IMTA of prawns reared free-swimming and tambaqui reared in net cages (CAGE). Harvested prawns were marketed for recreational fishing and the tambaqui is traded for the next grow-out phase after overwintering in greenhouses. Internal rate of return (IRR), net present value (NPV), payback period (PP), and benefit–cost ratio (BCR) showed economic feasibility for all systems, and shorter PP and greater profitability were observed with an increased size of the properties. In addition, the integrated systems showed resilience by remaining economically feasible when subjected to variations in productivity, major costs, and selling price. Further research should test the technical feasibility of producing tambaqui in greenhouses during the winter in colder climates.

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Inglês

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Aquaculture International.

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