Fish farming is one of the fast-growing and profitable agribusiness sectors trending in Nigeria as of today. Starting up a fish farm is capital intensive and can also generate lots of profits if carried out correctly. Fishes are very sensitive to any changes such that any costly mistake can leave your fishes with degenerated growth and loss of money as a result.
In fish farming, there are two basic subdivisions that could either be carried out separately or as an integrated process, they include the nursery and the grow-out pond operation.
The nursery aspect deals with the inducement of the female fish to lay eggs to be fertilized, incubated, hatched, and finally produce fish called fries.
While the grow-out aspect involves nurturing the produced fish and growing them to become fingerlings and juveniles. These fishes are now continuously nurtured within four to five months to become weighty and suitable for consumption and sale. See below for a step-by-step guide on how to start a fish farming business in Nigeria.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO START FISH FARMING BUSINESS IN NIGERIA
SOURCE FOR A GOOD WATER
Water quality is the most important factor affecting fish health and performance because they solely depend on water for all their needs. That is why you need to give your fish adequate and good water supply to aid their survival. Ideal water supply to fish ponds can be made available by installing an overhead tank, or borehole. To maximize investment, there should be no shortage of water.
SECURE A SUITABLE LAND
If you would want to start as a small-scale fish farmer, sustainable homestead fish culture is one you would want to try out. This form of fish farming can be done in your backyard, with different choices of using an earthen pond, concrete pond, or plastic fiber tanks. The soil at the site of the earthen pond should be able to retain water.
But if you want to venture into commercial fish farming which is a large-scale business, the first requirement is finding suitable land for the establishment of the farm. Such land must be sited near the water with enough topography for pond constructions.
The water source can be a river spring, well, or borehole, and it should not be hilly or too flat. It should be a marshy land that can retain water for a long period of time. Also, make sure the road that leads to the farm is accessible and near to the market. Once these are carried out, a registered surveyor should survey it and a topographic map should be used in order to design the fishponds and other structures correctly.
CONSTRUCT YOUR PONDS
Construct good and suitable ponds and other structures on your secured land by engaging the service of a well-trained expert to construct the ponds in a way that suits the propagation of the fish.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT SPECIES OF FISH
There are several hundreds of fish species in the fish family. Some of them are, Hypsurus caryi, Hermosilla azurea, Halichoeres, Ginglymostoma cirratum, Embiotoca jacksoni, Chromis viridis, etc. Among these and a whole lot, Catfish, Salmon, and Tilapia are advisable to be chosen because they are the most popular breed in Nigeria.
These types of fish are very lucrative because there is high market demand for them.
BUY HEALTHY JUVENILES
Juveniles are little fishes that need nurturing for them to grow to marketable sizes. They are categorized into fries, yearlings, and fingerlings. Opting for juveniles from reputable fish hatcheries is germane so as to be rest assured of a productive outcome.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT FISH FEEDS
Basically, fish feed on natural foods like phytoplankton, zooplankton, larvae, etc found in the ponds. These natural foods are mainly available to fish in situations where the earthen pond method is used. You can self-produce their feed in pellets, powder, and granules using the necessary ingredients that give nutrients to fish.
As a fish farm starter, getting branded feeds from reputable farms is very essential so that all necessary and required nutrients they need like omega 3, vitamin B12, and omega 6 will be supplied to them easily. These nutrients will help your fish grow well within a little space of time.
GET PROPER TRAINING
To produce a healthy and weighty fish, getting trained by experts on crucial aspects of aquaculture, like feed formulation, cross-breeding, routine husbandry, and general maintenance is very essential.