If you have been conceptualizing the idea of starting a catfish farming business in Nigeria, then this article is for you. You are about to discover all you need to know about fish farming in Nigeria generally and catfish farming in particular.
Here are some fun facts about catfish: According to Daily Journal,
- There are over 3000 species of catfish.
- Catfishes can be found all over the world, except Antarctica.
- Depending on their species, catfish can live for up to eight to twenty years in the wild. Comparatively, freshwater catfish averages only one to three year survival rates.
What Is Fish Farming?
Fish farming generally is the process, plan, and action of rearing fish for personal or commercial purposes. This simple process so identified can become cumbersome without the right knowledge. Therefore, the process of rearing fish and catfish, in particular, involves knowledge acquisition and practice. These two elements will help you become successful in this quest without regrets.
The process of rearing catfish includes the building of the fish pond or tank, getting a good source of water supply, stocking the fingerlings, and many more.
Other very important aspects of not only catfish farming but fish farming, in general, includes: having the right type of feeds for your fishes, knowing the very type of fish species to breed, and yet another vital component required for you to succeed in catfish farming is having someone to guide you practically, this is your sure path to success.
Cat Fish Farming – What is catfish farming?
For a better and clearer understanding, let me say simply say, catfish farming is the action of growing one of the different species of fish available, in this case, it is the catfish.
What is Catfish?
Catfish is one of the group of ray-finned fish in the Catfish fish family, it is reared mainly for commercial purpose in Nigeria. There are different species of fish in this large catfish family and these include: the blue catfish, channel catfish, flathead catfish, heteroclarias and lots more, as they are well over 300 of other species of fish that can get any sane person confused and bamboozled.
The catfish is considered a bottom-feeding fish and are found in fresh water, they are aquatic products that can be found in coastal regions (hot regions) like Africa, America, Asia, all other parts of the world.
Predators as Threat to Catfish
While catfish has a carnivorous diet, based on the fact that it feeds on insects that live close to its habitat – the river or pond, the catfish farmer must note that there are enemies or environmental threats to the survival of the catfish. Such enemies that prey on the catfish include bigger reptiles near the river or fishpond and large birds flying above and looking for catfish to kill and eat, this may eventually lead to revenue loss for the farmer.
5 Steps to Start Your Catfish Farming
#1. Decide The Appropriate Fish Pond
The type of fish pond you will use to start your fish farming business depends on a few factors like your financial budget, the size of your farmland, a constructed concrete fish pond, or a plastic tank.
#2. Get a Good Location
To be successful in this regard, getting a good location for your fish farm is important. The location or available space for your fish farming is very important in deciding the size of the catfish farm.
While some people start with their backyard, others go for either leasing or outright buying of parcels of land to start. However, a half plot of land is a good place to start, while one can use as many plots of land as his budget can carry to do this business, you should make sure your financial budget can cover the business.
#3. Get a Good Source of Water
This is so important for the catfish farmer. A good source of water is necessary for the wellbeing and survival of the catfishes and for a guaranteed income at the end of that given farming cycle. As important as air is to humans, so is water for fishes. Bad and dirty water kills fishes, although there are some fishes found to survive in dirty water. Clean, stable, and reliable water is key to successful catfish farming.
#4. Decide the Type of Fish
In this case, the type of fish we are interested in is the catfish. Just make sure you go for healthy fingerlings and juveniles.
#5. Understanding Fish Feeds and Feeding
Understanding fish feeds and feeding is key as fish feeds and feeding the fish is very critical to making the desired profit. There are three kinds of fish feed options:
- Natural Fish Feeds: this kind of feed are found naturally on the pond and its environs.
- Supplementary Fish Feeds: this kind of feed is gotten from our living environment. It can be from agricultural by-products and other sources.
- Complete feed: these ones are carefully made by experts for the different stages of growth and survival of the fish. This one may be expensive but guarantees your fish grow strong and healthy too.
#6. Market your business
To make money in any field of business first demands that you are business-minded, and becoming your own marketer is the first rightful step. Start early to market your catfish business to potential buyers and before you complete their rearing up process you may find out your stock has been fully booked.
The Cost of Starting Your Fish Farm
Without knowing the cost of starting your business, the business person may just be groping in the dark or running around a vicious circle. Fish farming is a profitable business to do once proper planning is added with effective management. However, starting can be challenging in the face of scarce resources.
To start out on a small-scale fish farm especially with a plastic tank farm, this was cost you the sum of N500,000. This also depends on your location as a pond in Abuja may cost more than one in Ibadan. Likewise, a pond in Lekki will cost more than Iyana-ipaja area of Lagos.
And to construct a concrete pond for your fish farming depends on the size of the land. So a concrete pond can go from N500,000 to millions.
Is Catfish Farming Profitable?
Yes! Catfish farming is profitable although it could be capital intensive. In about 6 to 7 months, you can make over 100% of your investment as profit.
The Benefits of Catfish Farming In Nigeria
When we talk about catfish farming in Nigeria, we try to recognize its benefits, especially to the nation. Aside from being the most popular animal product in the market, it also constitutes far more than 40% of protein intake in Nigeria today.
Fish is the highest source of protein in our world today. It is important to note that fish protein is low in fat and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is very good for the heart and the brain and contains vitamins such as vitamin D and vitamin B2, (riboflavin) which is also rich in calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
Catfish Farming Is A Fast Moving Business
Now talking about the viability of this business and how it generates income for the farmer, it is worthy of note that fish sells quicker than any other animal protein in the market today. It is the number one choice in every known Nigerian market in terms of affordability. It is considered to be the available option for the common masses, as it comes in handy and is affordable to those living below the average standard of living in society.
No matter the number of fishes a farmer can produce within a given season of farming, if he is good at marketing, he will make good profits.
As we summarize this article on catfish farming in Nigeria, it is very clear that starting up a catfish farming business is quite capital intensive and its management requires some levels of care, knowledge, and practice. Therefore, I will advise you talk to an expert or someone who is also a catfish farmer around your location. This is to avoid teething mistakes as a newbie that can cost you your capital in the process, the business is quite profitable especially in Nigeria, this business have made many millionaires and you too can become the next. All you need is determination and the sky is your starting point.