Carole R. Engle; Ivano Neira
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Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture CRSP, Oregon State University
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Abstract: Nicaraguan tilapia farmers face considerable market risk in attempting to develop export markets for their products. Domestic markets would provide stability by offering additional market alternatives, thereby reducing risks associated with having only one target market. The Goal of this project was to assess the domestic market as an alternative tilapia outlet. A complete census of open-air markets was conducted in the major urban and rural population centers. The survey results indicated that tilapia was a common product in Nicaragua, with over 65% of fish market vendors selling tilapia. On average, vendors had been selling tilapia for more than ten years. Tilapia were sold most commonly by vendors with larger stands and those with slightly higher education levels. Inconsistent supplies and insufficient quantities of tilapia have resulted in decreasing sales of tilapia. Sales of freshwater fish in Nicaragua are hampered by fears on the part of consumers over contamination of Lake Managua and the safety of fish supplies as a result. Fear of contamination was the major reason why vendors had either stopped selling or never sold tilapia. Wholesale prices paid by vendors for tilapia are likely to be lower than the price levels that will be necessary to cover production costs of farm-raised tilapia.