There are so many information on the internet on how to start fish farming in Nigeria especially catfish farming but few are detailed enough to really assist aspiring fish farmer to get started. I will be endeavor to make this article as detailed as possible and hope that other experienced fish farmer will add to it as we try to answer people’s questions by commenting.
One of the most popular agribusiness in Nigeria is fish farming and for good reasons. Gone are the days when the only means of getting fish is by catching it in the local rivers and ponds through trial and errors. Today, the modern farm practice has made it possible to grow fish in the farms and control the input.
If you are thinking of business to start now, I recommend you start Catfish Farming. If you are an existing farmer and you are looking to expand your farm capacity, I’d encourage you add fish farming to your line of business. Fish farming (especially catfish) is most compatible with poultry farming as you can use the poultry drops to produce the feed for your fish.
Benefits of Fish Farming
1. Fish is Popular
Fishery products is by far the most popular animal products in the market, constituting more than 60% of meat produce in the Nigerian market.
2. Fish is Source of Protein
Fish is one of the highest source of protein. It is a low-fat high quality protein that is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is also very rich in calcium and phosphorus and is equally a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.
3. Fish Sells Quick
Fish sells faster than any other animal products in the market and is relatively cheaper than meats, making it the number one choice when it comes to affordability.
4. Fish Matures Quickly
Fish grows very fast as practices in fish farming makes it possible for farmers to increase the fastness of their fish growth by giving them certain feeds, ensuring that you harvest and sell within short period of time.
5. Fish Contains Omega-3
Fish is the biggest source of Omega-3 fatty acids which is extremely beneficial to human heart; Omega-3 helps to keep our heart and brain very healthy. Since human body doesn’t produce Omega-3 fatty acids, the only source through which we can get it is by what we eat, that is where fish comes to the rescue.
6. Fish Farming is Profitable
Fish farming is very profitable. With proper planning and good management, N3 million investment in fish farming could easily result to N4 million of pure profit within six months.
7. No Environmental Hazard
Fish farm does not cause any environmental hazard. Unlike poultry farming, you can setup fish farm anywhere, including residential areas. If you have a specious compound, you can easily setup a small fish farm within your backyard without any regulatory precaution.
Risks and Challenges in Fish Farming
1. Sensitive to Manage
Fish is very sensitive to manage and a slight mistake could result to degenerated growth of your fish or even death which may cause massive revenue loss.
2. Capital Intensive
Setting up fish farm is capital intensive, much more than that of poultry and snail farming. Setting up fish farm requires more careful planning and much capital input. A relatively small fish farm may take up to N500,000 to setup, while bigger ones takes millions of naira.
3. Fish is Priced High
Due to the cost of production, fish produced from the farm is priced higher than those caught from the rivers and ponds by fishermen. Therefore, if there are good quantity of fisherman’s fish in the market, you may find it difficult to sell as people would prefer the cheaper ones.
4. No Byproduct
There is no byproduct in fishery unlike poultry where even the drop can be harvested and sold to other farmers and make extra profit. In fishery, all you get is the flesh.