You do not have to wait until you have a lot of money before you can start a fish farming business. All you need is a shaded outdoor space, a big container that can accommodate the fish you want to rear, clean water source, salt, fish feed and of course, your time and dedication, like any other business.
When you hear someone say fish farming business in Nigeria, they actually mean “catfish farming business” more than half of the time. It is really more than just catfish.
There are tilapia, crayfish and handful others too.
Catfish is just what you can call the “poster child” (or poster fish) of the fish farming business.
What makes this so is simply because catfish are hardy fish – way more than the others.
They are the easiest you can rear and need the least maintenance.
ADVICE on how to start a fish farming business in Nigeria
1. Avoid runts: Some farmers will claim they sell healthy fingerlings or juveniles but what they really sell are runts – unhealthy fish that can die off after they have sold them to you.
Naive catfish farmers just starting out are easy preys to these sellers.
2. Go for juveniles: These ones have gone through the test of time and worthy of confidence that they will make it to the table size. In Nigeria, young catfish are popularly classified as:
• Post fingerlings
• Post juveniles
3. Monitor and sort: When you feed the catfish well with the starter feed, you will notice that some grow fast over a few days.
You will likely end up having some “big fish” that can feed on the smaller ones. You have to make sure this does not happen. Sort the fish you rear at least once a month. Put like-sized fishes together.
4. Aired water: Keep the water fresh by changing it at least once daily to give the fish enough oxygen. Just like us, they need clean, aired water to survive too.
Some farmers take this a little further and buy an aerator to pump oxygen into the water.
5. Healthy diet: Feed the fish twice daily – morning and evening. Lookout for days when they will need to be fed more. Avoid putting feed in a spot and having just a particular set eat the feed all the time.
6. Each time you change the water, sprinkle a little salt in it. This is like a basic antibiotic treatment that keeps healthy fish healthy.
7. Get proper fish antibiotics from fish feed sellers or veterinarian and ensure to follow the prescription to reduce fish mortality.
8. Expect table-sized, 1 kg body weight fish. This is a good weight to sell for profitable sales.
POINTS OF SALES OR HOW TO MARKETS YOUR FISHES
• Social media
You can sell your fish in other forms too. By:
You might wonder what feed size you should feed your fish? Check the table below.
WEEK AT HAND FEED SIZE
0 – 2 1.2mm
3 – 4 2mm
5 – 6 3mm
7 – 8 4mm
9 – 10 4.5mm
11 – 12 6mm
13 – 16 6/8mm
When you have mastered catfish farming at a small scale, you will find it easy moving on to the medium scale.
You will need land to expand the business.
There is a variety of pond types you can pick from:
1. Earthen ponds: This simply means digging deep into the ground to create a space to rear fish. Ensure to pick a loamy or clay soil should this type of pond be your choice. It could be a clay pond, concrete pond or sacked pond.
2. To make a clay pond, you will plaster the walls with clay after digging. In concrete ponds, you make the walls with concrete. You will have the least worries about landslides with concrete ponds.
3. You can also decide to make sacks of sand as you dig and use them to hold the walls of the pond. What you create is a sacked pond.
4. Earthen ponds have the bottom left open to allow for aeration.
5. You can choose to not dig the ground and just rear your fish in a container. This is the surface pond – simply in a container above the ground.
on fish farming business in Nigeria
However you choose to start, fish farming is a fantastic business in Nigeria. The returns are fantastic too! Just ensure to have the basics materials in place to make living convenient for the fish and elongate their existence while also not overspending on the feed but keeping it just adequate to get the fish from fingerlings or juveniles to table size for you to achieve an optimal profit that doesn’t your customers off.