How to start a fish farming business in Nigeria,as you know, fish farming is a very lucrative business in Nigeria since the economy is dwindling down with the foreign exchange rate soaring high with each passing day and the drastic fall of the stock exchange market.
Many Nigerians are already considering other alternatives, so as to diversify their source of income and what better way to do that if not investing in fish farming. why do i think fish farming is a good investment? the answer to that is not far fetched at all mainly because fish is a daily consumable meal that is consumed on a daily basis my million of Nigerians.
before i go further in rendering a more in depth look on how to start a fish farming business, i would like to take your minds back to the genesis of it all. In the olden days, fishes were gotten from lakes and rivers as long as you know how to throw in a bait with a hook in a strategic positions, your daily meal is certain to find its way to you
Bur today fish farming business has become a commercialised venture and with the large influx of investment being floundered daily, one can only see the potential and benefits of the fish farming business
BENEFITS OF FISH FARMING
1. Products of Fishery is by far the most popular animal product in the Nigerian market. The average Nigerian and by average, i mean most Nigerians find it relatively easy to purchase fish compared to meat which makes it the number one choice for most Nigerians due to its affordability as a result of the different breeds and species available.
2. Fish is a very good source of protein. It has very low fat and is filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as vitamin D and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is also very rich in calcium and phosphorus and is equally a great source of zinc, potassium,iodine, and magnesium. Omega-3 fatty acids is extremely beneficial to the human heart, it helps keep our heart and brain in perfect condition. Since the body does not produce Omega-3 fatty acids, the only source through which we obtain them is from our diet i.e. fish.
3. Fish grows really fast compared to other livestock or poultry farming. They grow at an increasingly rapid rate which makes it easy for farmers to deliver them to the market as at when due hence making profit in return. the rate at which they multiply is also overwhelming, so it takes little capita;l to invest in fishes asides the infrastructure and facilities needed to maintain and sustain them.
4. Fish farming is very profitable. With proper planning, management and a good investment, you could turn N1 million venture to N5 million enterprise in about 3 years ( this is based on my own assumption and my sense of urgency). The cost of setting up and managing the fish farm though will primarily depend on the size of your pond, because having a big pond will mean more fishes, more feed to buy, bigger water reservoir, and of course bigger profit margin.
5. Fish farms do not cause any environmental hazards. Unlike poultry farming, you can set-up fish farms anywhere, including residential areas. If you have a large compound, you can easily set-up a small pond in one corner of the compound or at the back of your building.
6. Fish farming (especially catfish) go very well with poultry farming as you can use the poultry drops to make feeds for the fish.
CHALLENGES OF FISH FARMING
1. Farmers in other livestock farming such as poultry and cattle rearing make extra income from the sale of byproducts such as (chicken eggs, cow dung) There are no byproducts in fish farming and this is seen as a major disadvantage by most farmers and investors.
2. Fishes are tender which makes them sensitive to even the slightest mistake which could result in their decline in growth or death.
3. Setting up fish farm is capital intensive, it is more expensive than building a poultry or snail farm. Building a fish pond requires meticulous planning and a good capital. A relatively small fish pond may require about N300,000 to setup, which of course is primarily attributed to the cost of constructing the pond and cost of labour. But if you can do all the construction work yourself, you may save a huge chunk of that. The capital though is nothing compared to the revenue, so long as you have clients to sell the fishes to.
4. Because of cost of production, fish grown from artificial ponds are usually more expensive than fish caught by fishermen from natural rivers. Therefore, if there are a lot of fishermen supplying fish to local markets, it will only make the competition stiffer. so for a farmer to have an edge over fishermen who catch fishes and offer them for sale at a cheaper price he needs to improvise and thread tactfully.
REQUIREMENTS FOR FISH FARMING
after all i have highlighted on the benefits and shortcomings of owning a fish farm, if you still see the need to continue with your investment, then you can read on further.
- CAPITAL: To venture in to any form of business, capital is required and fish farming is not an exclusion. Huge capital is not needed to run a fish farming business because you can always expand as time goes on. the best way to set up a business when there is no initial capital is to make do with whatever you have and as the profits comes from the sale you make, a large chunk of that profit is invested back into the business. this method is called retained profit. there are other sources to finance a business but the retained profit method is more popular and widely accepted.
- LAND: Except you plan to build your castle on the air. Land is needed to form the foundation of any business, and the best part of owning a fish farming business is that it doesn’t require a large chunk of land, to me i think it has more to do with depth rather than width but then again that depends on the variety and size of fish you wish to invest in.
- POND: After the initial capital and land have been secured, the next step is to build a pond. ponds a relatively easy to construct, all it takes is a little digging (really?) the key aspect of building a pond is the drainage, pipes and water system, making sure water gets out and comes in with ease. Do this right and you are on the right path to become a fish pond owner/farmer.
- BOREHOLE: how else do you intend to get water into the pond…well?,,,rain water?. before anything else comes first, securing a stable source of water is paramount in setting up a fish pond, even before the fishes themselves, water comes first and every other thing comes in behind. Boreholes aren’t that expensive to drill but in high land areas such as Abeokuta, Edo and Benin it could cost quite a lot, up to N150.000
- POWER: By power i mean a generating set, we all know the current state of electricity in Nigeria so having a generator is also a necessity to power the infrastructures needed for the ease of the whole process involved with fish farming.
TYPES OF FISH
Of course, you cannot just go to a random river and grab a couple young fingerling to transfer to your new pond; you just might be growing a mini shark in there. i have taken some time out to list just 3 of the common fishes consumed and reared.
1. CAT FISH: Even though Catfish is not the most popular fish in Nigeria, this fish species is by far the most cultivated in Nigeria because of the love Nigerians have for it and it is served mostly with our hot delicacy ”pepper soup” which makes it even more prone to consumption. This is why many new fish farmers choose catfish.
2. TILAPIA: Second most popular fish in Nigeria’s aquaculture industry, Tilapia is a fish specie that lives in fresh shallow water. Tilapia is very easy to rear and very popular in the Nigerian market.
3. MACKEREL (Titus): This is by far the most popular fish in the Nigerian market because of fits into the budget of most Nigerians , as ideal as it may seem for cultivation and appealing status to the eye, Mackerel does not grow in fresh water so it cannot be grown from artificial ponds. Mackerel fish can only be found in sea water (salt water). It is not advisable to sprinkle salt into the pond with the hope of turning your fishes into Mackerel 2.0.
HOW TO START A FISH FARMING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
if you are having second thoughts about venturing into fish farming, now you know it is relatively easy once approached with the right mindset.
- fish is affordable and relatively cheap
- it is cheaper than meat
- it is a popular product in the market
- they grow at a rapid rate.
there you have it on how to start a fish farming business in Nigeria. Over to you!!! become a fish farmer today.