Many questions have been asked about how to start a fish farming business in Nigeria and answers have been provided.
For most of the questions I have come across, they were not detailed enough. This article will, however, goes a step further to be as detail as you can think about fish farming in Nigeria.
So are you looking forward to starting your fish farm? Are you an entrepreneur with the passion for fish farming? Then this article is for you.
Every year the federal government spends millions of naira in other to meet domestic demand. With domestic production stood at 600,000 tons as against the demand which is at 2.1 million per year. There is no doubt higher demand than supply.
Why start fish farming
o There are plans by the federal government of Nigeria to stop 700,000 metric tons and this is to boost domestic production. This is opening more opportunities for aspiring farmers to start.
o Fish is one of the best and cheap source of protein and often recommended for both young and old due to its low cholesterol.
o Fish farming business is one of the most lucrative business you can start in Nigeria. With return on investment almost 100%
o The water the fish stayed in for some days serves as a good source of fertilizer for the plant, as it contains useful nutrients for plant growth.
o Fish farming business is an environmentally friendly business which poses no health risk or environmental hazards.
o Due to high demand than supply, fish meat is sold faster because domestic farmers are yet to meet the demand.
Fish cultivated in Nigeria
Many fish are cultivated in Nigeria, the most popular ones been catfish and tilapia fish. Catfish by far the most popular fish that is cultivated in Nigeria today. It’s easy to cultivate and prepared for exportation.
For tilapia fish, there is also increase in a number of fish farmers trying it. Tilapia has lower omega 3 fatty acid than the one bred in sea water.
How to start your fish farming
The following steps are the procedures to follow to be able to start your fish farm in Nigeria. Note that each step should be taken series if you want to be successful.
Step #1: Acquire your land
The first thing to do is to acquire a land. A 100×100 land can build ponds that can be used to stock up to 10000 fingerlings. This pond can raise these fingerlings to broad stock.
Use 50meter per square to build your ponds. Use 25 meters per square for your farm house and store and the remaining 25 meter per square for expansion. When buying your land, make sure it’s in a water lock area.
Step #2: Get good water supply
The reason why you should get a water lock area, you’ll need water for the growth of the fish. Preferably dig a borehole for the farm as these can give you a guarantee of water.
Step #3: Acquire knowledge
Get to know the fish farming methods or how the farm works. Knowing when to change the water, how to sort the fishes, method of feeding and managerial practices are all part of what you need to know. Every day, new farming methods are been innovated, getting to know the farming method is key to your success.
Step #4: Start marketing your product
Don’t wait until your fish is ready for your market before you can start marketing your product. Start marketing so that people will begin to know your farm and what you do.
If your farm will be producing fingerlings and selling it, then early marketing will be necessary for other to build your customer base.
What it takes to start
Let me do some financial analysis so that you know what it takes to start this business.
A 100×100 land can raise up to ten thousand fingerlings to the required size for the market. Depending on the location, a land 100×100 land should cost between 1,000,000 -1,500,000.
For those who have an extra space in their backyard, they can equally use the space to start.
With 450,000 naira, you can sink a borehole and build an overhead tank for storing the water.
If you’re buying fingerlings, it goes for 30-40 naira.
Fish farm housing
Today there are many types of fish farming housing in Nigeria. We have the earthen pond: which is the most popular.
Constructing an earthen pond depends requires the services of an architect which will provide the required estimate.
There are half tanks which are becoming more popular too by the day. The 5000-litre tank goes for 45,000 naira and can raise up to 400 fish. The half tank is good for those who want to start a backyard farm.
There is different feed in the market. It’s all dependent on which one you want to use. To raise 100 fish from fingerlings to broad stock, you’ll need four bags of feed. That is if you’re going to grow 1000, you’ll need 40 bags.
Succeeding in fish farming
Don’t overdue things and bite more than you can chew. Starting small gives you the required knowledge to learn how fish farming works. The advantage of starting small is you’ll get to know the nitty-gritty of the business and the mistakes won’t be beyond you to correct.
Know your target market
– Who is your target market?
– How do they need the product?
– How are you going to reach them?
Knowing all the answers makes it easier to market and sell your product.
Manage your business wisely and expansion becomes easy
Your number enemy in your business is your first success. Some think it will be all rosy from that point (sure it will) if you manage your farm as a business.
Don’t waste your money buying things that don’t enhance your business. Your first five profits are required to be reinvested in the business towards expansion. The more you expand, the more you dominate the business.
Keep updating yourself
Don’t stick to one method of doing things and think it’s the ultimate method. Keep improving yourself with new methods of fish farming.
Be ready to welcome change and when there is a new method, it’s simply saying the old method won’t give you what you want. Updating yourself always makes you manage your fish farm effectively and the desired end result certainly will be achieved.
Take your fish farm as a business
If you’re in the fish farming business as a get rich quick scheme, then you might want to change that notion. Success in business comes in a gradual process.
Don’t think you know it all. Get some expert advice. It might seem like spending money but saves you from losses that may arise.
Sorting is a continues process
No matter how good the fish breeds are, there may be few that might not grow as you want. Sorting or separating them should be a continues process to avoid the big ones eating the small ones.
Risk taking is part of business, don’t be afraid to take one.
Never give up, keep moving and keep learning
Challenges of fish farming in Nigeria
Even though fish farming is a lucrative business in Nigeria, there are certain challenges faced by some farmers. Note this is not to scare you, but to ensure you know and avoid it for success.
Poor fish breed
Poor fish breed will not make the fish to grow as expect and there will be variations in the size of the fish. At their fingerling stage, you won’t know their sizes until they’re 4-6 weeks old before you start noticing it.
Never buy fingerlings from any farm. Ensure that you ask or see the fish growth from the farm before you go ahead. Good fish breed gives you the maximum benefit.
Poor water supply
Before starting a fish farm, ensure that there is good water supply. Because fish grows in water and the water is often change in days. It’s better to get a land where you can sink your borehole which gives you the guaranteed water for the farm.
Due to the need for land with good water supply and accessibility to the market is a serious challenge to most farmers.
Most commercial feeds is quite expensive. And the price will continue to go up. For maximum benefit, you should look for ways to start compounding your own feed.
Packaging your product
Fish farms are beginning to package their fish to build more market for the farm. Installing fish smoking kiln to smoke your fish makes it easier to sell your product. Today in Nigeria, there are farms packaging their smoked fish and exporting it to the US.
Having a fish smoking kiln is easy today in Nigeria. All you’ll need to do is to fabricate the machine and when done correctly, it does the work.