Let’s talk about how to start fish farming in Nigeria. How does one take those few first steps to creating a fish farm? What are the advantages and disadvantages of running such a farm in Nigeria?
When it comes to fish farming, Nigeria has always enjoyed this popular (and lucrative) area of agriculture business. However, it is not quite as easy to jump into it as you might expect. That said, with the help of our fish farming business plan, you should be able to have some idea about how you can get your farm up and running. So follow our guide and learn more about this.
How to start fish farming business in Nigeria
Once you have decided that you definitely want to get into the fish farming in Nigeria, you need to have a clear idea of what you are doing. Check these tips, and you should be able to create your fish farm from scratch in no time!
- Get training. Even though some guides on the topic recommend getting training after you have created your fish farm, we think it is important to start with the training and see how it goes from there. Take your time to learn about fish farming, intern at one of your local farms to get some hands-on experience, be prepared for what is coming if you open your own farm.
- Decide on the type of fish. Not all fish have the same requirements for growing them, which is why it is important to know more about the species you plan to settle on. These days, some of the most popular fish varieties in Nigeria are tilapia and catfish, but you can always choose something different.
- Secure land. If you have some extra half a plot of land somewhere, it should be enough for you to start an average-sized farm. If you do not, you should get as much. As the ground itself does not matter for your purposes, you should look for some cheap plots, as it will significantly decrease your expenses.
- Install ponds. You can buy some fishponds or have them constructed. Ready-made ponds are usually made out of plastic or tarpaulin, and they are easy to install, move or transport. On the other hand, stationary ponds are much sturdier, as they are made out of concrete, but you are going to need someone with knowledge and experience to install them. The plumbing should be done well to ensure that things run smoothly.
- Dig a borehole and install an overhead tank. Obviously, you are going to need a lot of water for your fish farm, which is why you should have constant access to it. The best way is to bore a hole in the ground and get water from the earth. In order to get this water into the ponds, you are going to need an overhead tank that will supply it to the ponds via the plumbing system.
- Procure other fish farming equipment. Apart from the water supply and fishponds, you also need to think about other equipment and necessities. Purchase fish feed, nets, grading and handling equipment, as well as aeration devices and other things that might be necessary for growing the fish you chose to work with.
- Get juvenile fish. Find a farm that specializes in juvenile fish and get the fish you plan to grow at your farm. Before you get it, make sure that your farm meets the requirements of said fish, so that you do not end up with a bunch of dead juvenile fish after just a few days. If all is in order, procure the fish.
Once you have done all that, you are ready to run your fish farm! Now all you have to do is tend to your fish (see if the water circulation and aeration are working, feed the fish regularly, clean the ponds from time to time) and wait for it to grow. If you plan to sell it once it reaches maturity, you can think of some marketing strategies and find the buyers while you wait.
Advantages and disadvantages of fish farming business
Now that we have talked about how one can start their own fish farm, we should talk about the pros and cons of fish farming. Let’s start with the pros:
- Fish is a popular product. Nigerians love fish, so there is always going to be a demand for it (unless the whole country suddenly becomes vegan). Fish also usually sells quick, as it is often significantly cheaper than meat, so more people can easily afford it.
- Fish grows fast. While fish can grow very quickly on its own, there are numerous ways that can make the process even faster, thus shortening the amount of time you need to spend waiting for your fish to mature.
- Fish farming is a profitable venture. Even though it might cost you a pretty penny to set up a fish farm, you should be able to make profit within half a year. This is will happen of course if you have planned everything properly and done your homework when it comes to marketing.
- It is relatively easy to set up. As fish farms pose no threat to the environment, you can set one up in your backyard without seeking permission from authorities. This makes fish farming very convenient for people who cannot invest too much into buying the land or dealing with regulations.
With all that said, there are a few cons to fish farming:
- Fish is sensitive. Obviously, we do not mean emotionally, but fish is quite sensitive to the outside factors. This means that if there are issues with your setup, your fish might not grow up the way it should, or it might contract some diseases that would be detrimental to your business.
- The business is capital intensive. While you should be able to turn profits within half a year of setting up the farm, it will still take you quite a lot of money to get it up and running. So unless you have a few million naira lying around that you can part with for several months, you should probably consider some other business.
- Fish can be expensive. When it comes to selling the fish, you might notice that caught fish is significantly cheaper than farm-raised fish. So when people are facing the dilemma of which fish to buy, most go for the cheaper option, even though the more expensive product might be of much better quality. This is why you should consider your competition before going out to sell your product.
If these cons have not discouraged you from starting your fish farm, then go ahead and use our business plan to make your dreams come true. Good luck!