Fish farming has been prevalent for decades in Nigeria as a business. it has enjoyed a substantial increase in its market share and notable popularity majorly due to the increase in demand for its products. It is the fastest-growing farming business in Nigeria.
Fish farming is a form of aquaculture which involves the breeding and rearing of fishes for commercial purposes using artificial means. The fish farming business in Nigeria thrives mostly in the Southern and the North Central parts of the country.
Fish farmers can engage in either monoculture, which is the rearing of only one species of fish, biculture which is the rearing of two species of fish, or polyculture which is the rearing of two or more than two species of fish. There are different species of fish that can be farmed but in Nigeria, the most commonly farmed are catfish and tilapia. Other types of fish that are also farmed include crab, shrimp, salmon, etc. Catfish and tilapia are preferred by farmers because they can do well in different types of water and they can also survive some pretty extreme conditions.
The fish farming business in Nigeria is a lucrative sector of the country’s agribusiness, and the increase in demand for fish, which is one major source of protein, only helps to increase its popularity. However, the market is not saturated yet as most recent 2018 statistics from the World Bank show that the supply of fish in Nigeria only satisfies about 34% of the demand for fish in the country. This goes to show that there is still enough room for more fish farmers who would also thrive if they venture into this business. Also, according to the most recent World Bank total fisheries report of 2018, Egypt, Morocco, and Nigeria are the top 3 leaders in the production of fish in Africa. The 2021 Q1 GDP data of the National Bureau of Statistics also show that there was a 3.24% contribution to the GDP of Nigeria by the fishery sector which is a welcome improvement from the sector’s performance in the previous year.
Being one of the largest producers of fish in Africa and with an increasing market, fish farming in Nigeria seems to be on the right path at the moment as the demand for fish does not seem like slowing down anytime soon. This business is even encouraged and supported by the Nigerian government to give out financial support such as government export incentives if you are interested in exportation. There are also financial institutions that also help with funding for the fish farming business.
Fish farming also helps out with the problem of unemployment in the country as it helps to create job opportunities as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported in 2012 that fish farming was able to employ about 13,000 people in Nigeria.
For a fish farm to function, it would require fingerlings from a fish hatchery, ponds and proper structures would need to be constructed, the feed would be required from feed producers, and more. After rearing the fishes appropriately, they would need to be marketed and sold. All of these are some of the opportunities that are tied to fish farming, and they also provide investment opportunities.