Fish farming (also known as pisciculture), is a type of aquaculture where fishes are reared for commercial purposes. It is one of the most popular aspects of animal husbandry in Nigeria. There is a high demand for fish in Nigeria which is not being adequately met by its present market, therefore, this has helped the business of fish farming to grow in popularity in Nigeria and this would in turn help reduce the importation of fish into the country annually, thereby improving the economy.
The most common type of fish in Nigeria’s aquaculture space is the catfish, and a good number of fish farmers are into catfish farming. Catfish is the most extensively consumed species of fish in Nigeria today, and catfish farming makes up about 80 percent of fish farming output in Nigeria.
If you wish to venture into the business of catfish farming, it is not out of place to expect that you would have wondered about the requirements and you already have your plan which contains what you’d want for your farm at hand.
To start a catfish farm, you would essentially need the following;
- A piece of land where you would have to set up the farm,
- Well-constructed ponds,
- Good water supply for your fish farms such as overhead tanks and boreholes,
- Startup capital,
- Other things to consider are the competition you would face in terms of the number of catfish farmers in your area, the demand for catfish in your vicinity, and most importantly, what your return on investment would be.
The popularity of the catfish farming market in Nigeria doesn’t only come from the delicious and satisfying taste experience that your product will give your customers, but it also stems from the fact that there are some advantages it has over other types of fish farming.
The harvest from catfish farming usually doesn’t take long if they are fed with appropriate feed and they are kept healthy, hence you will not have to wait too long to get your return on your investment. This is where giving your fishes the right feed with the appropriate nutrients they would require to grow well comes in. Catfish are also quite easy to breed as they easily adapt to the type of environment you place them in. They do not fall under the species of fish that gets sick easily or have a high mortality rate as they possess a strong disease resistance and they are also physically strong.
There is no completely risk-free business and catfish farming is no exception, despite all the advantages associated with the craft in Nigeria, It also bears some risk with it. When dealing with fish farms, you need to be quite careful as any mistake could result in fatal losses. Starting a fish farm can be very capital intensive so you would need to brace yourself for the financial implications should you decide to venture into catfish farming.
Some of the costs that are associated with catfish farming include the cost of feeding, security, logistics, feeds, getting juveniles, etc. Also, if you have a lot of fishermen in the area where your farm is set up then you might find it a little bit difficult to sell your produce as fishes that are reared in a farm usually sell at higher prices than those caught by the fishermen.
The demand for catfish in the Nigerian market is quite high creating a broad market and providing a profitable return on investment.