The "User-Friendly Tool for Investment Decision Making in Aquaculture" (UTIDA) has been developed by the Aquaculture Branch of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department and the FAO Subregional Office for Eastern Africa.

This is a beta version of UTIDA, which is still undergoing final testing before its official release.

The Tool is based on an interactive and user-friendly model designed within Microsoft Excel, which allows rapid data entry by the users. The Tool would like to assist small- and medium-scale fish farmers in their decision to invest or not in aquaculture under specific assumptions. It will also advise the users on whether or not their current investment is profitable and worth pursuing or not. In case they decide to invest, the Tool would like to help them to choose the fish species to breed and the farming system best suited to their physical and socio-economic conditions. It will also give them some advices for the success of the investments.

The Tool is designed in such a way that it requires no advanced knowledge of economic concepts or advanced skills in the use of spreadsheets. When used properly, the Tool may provide valuable assistance to small- and medium-scale fish farmers for improving the financial management of their operations.

The Tool analyses two fish species, Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and North African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). For each species, it provides two main groups of farming systems: Grow-out and Nursery. Currently, the users can choose the monoculture pond based farming.

Download and first access

  1. Download the User-Friendly Tool for Investment Decision Making in Aquaculture (Version 1.0 – Zip file 8 Mb) and save it in any local drive.
  2. The Tool is available as a zip archive "UTIDA_EN.ZIP": unzip it and maintain the folder structure. Since the Tool consists of a series of linked Microsoft Excel workbook files within a folder, it is very important when extracting to maintain the zipped file structure.
  3. To start, open the file "INDEX-EN.xls".


Inquiries concerning operations of the User-Friendly Tool for Investment Decision Making in Aquaculture should be addressed to:

Email: Aquaculture-Investment-Tool

Feedback and comments to help us improving the Tool are welcome.



Please note that this is a beta version of the “User-Friendly Tool for Investment Decision Making in Aquaculture” (UTIDA), which is still undergoing final testing before its official release.
Users may download UTIDA in the form of an Excel file onto their computers and enter technical and economic data on their activity and/or the activity they intend to start. The Excel file will remain on the User’s individual computer and not be shared through UTIDA.
UTIDA and all content found on it are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis. FAO does not give any warranties, whether express or implied, as to the suitability or usability of UTIDA, or any of its content.
Under no circumstances shall FAO, or its affiliates, or any of their respective agents, employees, information providers or content providers be responsible or liable to any user or anyone else for any inaccuracy, error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, alteration of or use of any content herein, or for its timeliness or completeness, nor shall they be liable for any failure of performance, computer virus or communication line failure, regardless of cause. In no event shall FAO be liable to you or any other person for any loss of business or profits, or for any indirect, incidental or consequential damages arising out of any use of, or inability to use UTIDA, even if FAO was previously advised of the possibility of such damages, or for any other claim by you or any other person.
Nothing contained in or related to this Disclaimer shall be deemed a waiver, express or implied, of the privileges and immunities of FAO.
Should you encounter any bugs, glitches, lack of functionality or other problems on UTIDA, please let us know. Your help is greatly appreciated.

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