Many Africans venture into agriculture yearly. This movement not only grows the industry but contributes some efforts to reducing unemployment promote economic growth around the continent the world at large. While many farmers focus on various other profitable agricultural businesses several others focus on aquaculture i.e Fish farming its relative organism.
According to wikipedia “Aquaculture also known as aquafarming is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish crustaceans molluscs aquatic plants”. While Aquaculture covers multiple facets fish farming is the most common in Nigeria Africa as a whole.
Fish farming is a profitable business that’s widespread across various parts of Nigeria. The insatiable dem for fishery products like Tilapia Catfish Mackerel (Salmon) in Nigeria has constantly self-promoted the steady growth expansion of the industry. These factors coupled with the current support of institutions the Nigerian government several other African countries to promote agriculture also support fish farmers makes the industry one of the most lucrative agricultural business segments to venture into.
Benefits Of Fish Farming (Aquaculture)
1). A Explosive Market:
The market potential for an aquaculture business is enormous in Nigeria Africa many other countries in the world. With the population of Nigeria at currently over 170 million expect to exceed that of the United States by 2050 the market potential for a fish farming business cannot be understated.
Aside from the fact that fishery products are one of the most sought after consumed agricultural products in Nigeria it is also cheaper than meat making it an affordable meal when the buyer either cannot afford to purchase meat or simply just wants to have a fish meal.
The explosive market size of this business makes it one of the most important agricultural business opportunities to venture into for any new existing or non-interested farmer.
2). Low Operating Cost:
The cost of starting up running an aquaculture farm is low compared to many other agricultural business ideas. In direct comparison to poultry farming fish farming has a lower operational budget because of its cheaper fish feed running costs.
Also while poultry products are highly susceptible to dangerous diseases (like Bird Flu) which could cost the farm owner a lot of wasted investments if not hled properly fish farming products have lesser threatening vices.
3). Government Support:
With the governments around Africa currently embarking on a large campaign to motivate the people on the continent to invest in agriculture with attractive capital incentives it only makes this moment a perfect time to consider fish farming as one of the lucrative agriculture business ideas to venture into.
4). Great Source Of Protein:
Irrespective of the financial benefits fish farming poses fishery products been a source of protein also contributes its health benefits to the general populace. With millions if not billions of people consuming fishery products everyday fish farming would constantly st as a healthy proteinous meal with rich health benefits to everyone.
The Various Types Of Fish Farming
1). Catfish Farming:
This is the most popular aquaculture business in Nigeria because of the popularity of the breed of fishes grown. Catfishes are the most common fishery products used in African meals at various households restaurants events hotels a lot more. Their ease of cultivation dem makes most aquaculture farmers to focus on growing catfishes instead of other breeds.
2). Tilapia Farming:
This aquaculture business is run with fresh water fishes inhabiting shallow streams ponds rivers lakes. These Tilapias are the second most popular fishes used in Nigerian meals. They’re of increasing important in aquaculture all over the world. The fact that these fishes grow rapidly tolerate high stocking densities poor water quality makes them a lucrative breed for fish farmers to grow.
3). Salmon (Mackerel) Farming:
Salmons are fresh water fishes that usually migrate to the ocean return to fresh waters to reproduce. While they are generally harvested in the wild they are also grown in fish farms. Salmons account for a high percentage of fishery products consumed in Nigeria. They’re mostly know as “Titus” in Nigeria are purchased by millions of households on a daily basis.
6 Things You Need To Know Before Starting A Fish Farm
1). Location Of The Fish Farm:
When selecting the location for your fish farm you need to consider it’s proximity from the nearest town the security in the vicinity the presence or absence of fish prey more.
Ensure the environment for growing your fish farm is ideal for your business to thrive.
2). L Mass:
You need to consider the size of the l you intend to use to grow your fish farming business. Usually a plot of l or two is great to start out a fish farming business. But where you don’t have the luxury of l space you can start out in your backyard grow from there.
Acquiring the l mass to set up your fish farm should be strategically done. You need to get an affordable property in a not-so rural area but still close to a major city. This way you can purchase the ls a lot cheaper than you would have in a city also have the luxury of purchasing as many affordable plots of ls as possible.
3). Pond Planning Size Design Construction And Consideration:
You need to determine the type of pond that you need constructed. For a levee-type pond a flat area that has access to a well could be used. But for a watershed pond steeper areas near a natural source of water are to be used.
It’s usually best to contact the services of an aquaculture consultant. They’d get your full requirements examine your goals determine what you truly need ensure the construction work general requirements of the fish ponds are properly met.
4). Source Of Water Supply:
The source of water supply to the fish ponds is important to proper development maturity of your fish farm for commercial use. It’s important to have a proper borehole system built in the vicinity to ensure a reliable source of water supply. This gets even more crucial with the fact that the water would have to be changed on a regular interval a lack there in of proper adequate water supply to ensure the survival of these fishes would lead to a considerable loss in investments.
You must know that rain water chemically treated water are totally out of the fish farming process. They’re unsafe for the fishes cannot be recommended for stard use.
Get a steady flow of fresh water so your pond can thrive.
5). Storage System:
How the fishes feed other items are stored has to be considered set up right from the onset. Ensure the feeds are stored in a cool dry place. Also ensure they’re not exposed to little farm animals that could make holes in the bags feed on them.
6). A Good Knowledge Of Running The Farm:
This is probably the most important thing to know. You must have a sound knowledge of how to run an aquaculture business. Attend a lecture or a seminar on aquaculture so you can learn a lot more about the rudiments of fish farming. Equipped with this knowledge you’d gain valuable information about fish farming every it takes to turn out successful.
Sample Business Plan/Feasibility Study On How To Start A Catfish Farming Business
With $500 to $750 (100000 to 150000 Naira) you can setup a 10ft X 10ft earth fish pond with a mild depth of about 4ft to 6ft. This constructed dimension would be able to hold about 1000 grown fishes. You can also construct a concrete pond use a plastic tank or a drum pond.
Before you start stocking your fishes you need to disinfect your pond with an anti-fungi an anti-bacteria. You should also balance your fish pond’s organic ion concentration by fertilization with banana leaves or poultry dungs.
You need to purchase fingerlings juveniles for your fish pond. Fingerlings usually don’t cost above 20 Naira per each Juveniles usually don’t cost above 40 Naira per each. An economic recession other vices can fluctuate the prices of these fingerlings.
Your have to feed your fishes once or twice a day. Feeding carries the bulk of the operating cost. Catfishes in hatcheries are to be fed meals that are properly ground or feeds that that are flour-like contain 45 to 50 percent of protein. Small floating pellets ( about 1/8 inch diameter) containing about 35 percent of protein should be fed to larger fingerlings. Floating feed of approximately 5/32 – 3/16 inch in diameter containing about 28 to 32 percent of protein should be fed to advanced fingerlings (which are about 5 to 6 inches long). Proper feeding intervals can get the fishes to weigh as much as 1.5kg after five months of adequate care.
Feeding the catfishes is generally about 60% of your entire farm costs. Most of these catfish feeds are imported into Nigeria cost an average of 5500 Naira per bag 15kg bag. The way the meals are fed to catfishes have to be carefully executed because 700 two months old fishes can finish a 15kg feed bag in just 10 days! This high cost of catfish feed can greatly affect your profitability.
Another alternative is to source locally made fish feeds. These usually cost about 3500 Naira per 15kg bag. With fewer individuals producing locally made catfish feed finding gaining access to these can pose a big challenge.
You have to feed your fishes in such a way that they you don’t pollute the water. This can be achieved by practising spot fishing. You shouldn’t also change the water immediately after feeding to avoid the fishes vomiting their meals. And you should constantly apply supplements like Livestovit Aquapro to protect your fishes from diseases.
As your fishes grow you need to constantly sort them to avoid larger fishes feeding on the smaller ones. This is best done by putting fishes of the same size inside a pond together to reduce their cannibalistic instincts. This doesn’t just ensure a bulk survival but also ensures adequate growth development because they can equally compete for food water space.
Change the pond’s water on a regular basis to improve the fishes longevity reduce the chances of diseases springing up on your fish farm. Clean water should be used to replace the existing water every 2 to 3 days. Without proper water management most of your fishes wouldn’t alive to maturity.
With the cost of catfishes at about 500 Naira per kilogram in Lagos 650 Naira per kilogram in Makurdi 750 Naira per kilogram in Abuja Nigeria you need to do a really good market feasibility study to underst the type of buyers that’d most likely patronise your own fish farm. Ideally this should be the very first thing you do before even starting a fish farm but assuming you’ve already done this contact potentially identified buyers offer to sell your fishes to them on more favourable terms. Make sure your buyers are aware of your fishery products about 2 months before they’re fully grown to increase your chances of selling out most of your merchise quickly.
The ultimate goal of every fish farmer is to grow their fishes to achieve a boy weight of 1kg within the shortest possible time. If this is managed done right the fishes can achieve this size in four to six months.
The Risks And Challenges Of Fish Farming
1). Poor Farm Site:
A poor fish farm location can impact negatively on the farm’s full potential for growth. Due to it’s difficult inaccessibility to a city area sales may slow down drastically for the farm owner.
2). Poor Pond Planning And Design:
A poorly planned fish farm can lead to leakages disorganisation several other factors that eventually pile up unwanted expenses.
3). Poor Market Survey:
Without doing a proper feasibility study of the fish farming business by estimating the size of your potential market cost of farm products a lot more you could be headed for failure or a major loss from the onset.
4). Little To No Experience:
An ardent lack of experience can lead you to waste your entire investment on your fish farm.
5). Competition From Fisher Men:
With lower costs of fishes being sold by fisher men the revenues your fish farm generates could be negatively impacted.