How To Start An Organic Tilapia & Catfish Farming Business In Nigeria
Fish farming is a branch of agriculture which deals with the rearing of different kinds of fishes usually for commercial purposes. The most popular types of fishes reared in Nigeria are catfish, mackerel and tilapia. These fishes in their various forms are very well consumed in Nigeria. Fish farming is commonly practiced all around the country.
Organic Fish Farming In Nigeria
Organic fish farming is a method which entails rearing fishes through the use of natural means. The fishes are grown and fed with food made from purely natural products. No artificial additions like growth enhancement drugs or even artificial fish foods and medicine. The fishes are left to grow under very natural conditions.
This process of raising fishes is gradually becoming more developed and popular in Nigeria. Using this kind of method for fish farming can be quite expensive and tasking. A lot of money and effort has to be put into securing all natural requirements for fishes.
Usually before going into this line of fish farming, it requires you get intense education in that regard. This is because organic farming is a very delicate method of fish farming, which could easily go wrong without proper guidance.
Starting and maintaining an organic fish farming business in Nigeria requires quite a lot of money, as you would be using natural methods for just about everything. Money is going to be spent on organic food, medicines and the likes. These things do not come cheap.
Before starting a commercial organic fish farm in Nigeria, an approval has to be gotten. There are a few agencies in Nigeria in charge of this. These agencies are mostly Non-governmental organizations. They help check organic fishing facilities and everything to make sure it is up to standard. Advice and pointers can be sought from these agencies on how to better handle this kind of farming.
Organic fish farming generally brings with it some issues like, high cost of acquiring a natural fishing facility and the purchase of organic food for the fishes. It could prove difficult to secure fingerlings bred under organic conditions. But the main issue which has made it difficult to practice total organic farming is sickness and disease which affect the fishes. The fishes are vulnerable to diseases and adequate care should be taken at this point to avoid extreme loss of fishes.
It is important to get the appropriate education to practice organic farming. It is not a business which should be entered into with little or no research. You need proper research and information to have the adequate understanding it takes to successfully run an organic fish farm.
Profitability Of Cat Fish Farming In Nigeria
Cat fish is the most popular fish reared by Nigerian fish farmers. This fish is well loved in the country, as not only does it possess a great taste, but is also full of nourishment. The two most common ways Nigerians eat cat fish are, when it is used to prepare cat fish pepper soup/ tomato sauce and when it is dried/roasted. In its dried/roasted form, it is a great addition to various kinds of Nigerian delicacies because of its unique flavor. Due to this love for catfish the demand is very high in Nigeria.
Cat fish farming in Nigeria is reportedly quite a profitable business but before the profit, comes the work. Fish farming facilities and equipment need to be properly put in place. Once the fishes are properly taken care of and are of ideal weight they tend to go for a good sum.
The amount of profit made from this business would be determined by the number of fishes being reared and your target market. In Nigeria, the price for 1kg of cat fish falls around N 700/800. So, multiplying this by the number of fishes and then by subtracting your total expenses could help determined individual profit.
To sell these fishes at a higher price and gain more money, some fish farmers also dry their cat fish over open fires or using ovens. Subsequently, they package and supply to major stores for sale. Cat fish in this form can also be exported to foreign countries where there is a demand for it. Going about it this way, will require more effort and more planning. But it also increases the amounts for which the cat fish will be sold, thereby increasing the profit being made.
Cat Fish Farming Equipment
To start up and successfully run a cat fish farm, there are certain necessary things which should be in place. After securing a land on which the fishing structures are going to be built, the next thing is to begin construction.
Fish farms require ponds be constructed which will house the fishes. The pond should be of good grades therefore, employing a person who is experienced in building fish farming structures should be done. The ponds should be properly built alongside a good drainage system as the ponds, will require draining at different points.
Since fish farming has to do with a lot of water, a good source of water supply is needed. For this a borehole or water well could be dug. A borehole is preferable as it reaches deeper into the ground than a well would. This means the possibility of a borehole drying up during the dry season is slim. The source of water should be natural and completely free of any form of chemical additions.
Tanks are also needed to store water and they should be connected to the plumbing systems of the ponds. To make things easier a water pumping machine can be installed and connected to your source of water, so water can be pumped into these tanks. Fish nets or plastic baskets are required for the removal of fishes from ponds for one reason of the other.
Tilapia Fish Farming In Nigeria
Tilapia fish is one of the common fishes eaten in Nigeria. This fish is also known for its nutritional benefits some of which include hair growth, immune system boost, prevent arthritis and cancer, aid weight loss and also richness in omega-3. Setting up a tilapia fish farm is also quite profitable in Nigeria.
Before setting up a tilapia farm, research and map out a plan on things like the amount going to spent in securing a spot for raising fishes, building and feeding cost etc. Adequate records about your business should always be taken serious so you know the necessary steps to take per time.
A good location has a major role to play in the success of any business. The land for tilapia fish farm should be picked based on certain factors. Land should be relatively flat. Getting a land with hills and stomps means more costs will be incurred to get the land leveled out. The land should also be accessible and have a close proximity to the target market.
Source Of Water
This is perhaps the most important requirement for a fish farm for obvious reasons. The ponds containing the fishes are going to need lots of water. An adequate and chemically free source of water should be secured. The most commonly used water source for fish farms are boreholes because, the water is free of any artificialities and chemicals and does not dry up.
Construction Of Ponds
The ponds to be built have specifications and standards it should meet. Correct measurements need to be adhered to; an efficient plumbing and drainage system should be in place. It is for this reason a professional in these field should be gotten. This plumbing and drainage system is necessary because, fish ponds are to be drained regularly and refilled with fresh water.
The fish farm can also contain a residential building where employees can stay to oversee the activities of the farm.
Bring In The Fingerlings
Once everything is in order then the tilapia fingerlings can then be brought in and put into the ponds. This process is best carried out when the day is coolest which is either in the morning or evening. This way, less strain is put on the fishes. The fishes placed in a pond should not be too much, to avoid overcrowding. The Nile tilapia and blue tilapia are considered the best species of tilapia to go for.
Feeding And Harvest
The fishes are typically fed twice a day with appropriate quantities of food which should contain the necessary nutrients to promote health and growth. Tilapia takes approximately three and a half months to come to maturity and be termed ready for harvest.
How Much Does A Fish Farmer Make In A Year
The amount a fish farmer makes in a year depends on the size and the number of fishes in his/her possession. It is also dependent on the size of the farmers market. All fish farmers do not make the same income per year. How well the products are marketed is what determines the farmer’s yearly income. With the right market, number and species of fishes, a fish farmers profits could very well run into millions per year.
Which Fish Farm Is The Biggest In Nigeria?
In Nigeria one particular fish farm cannot be exactly pin pointed as the biggest but here are three fish farms in Nigeria: HR Farms located at KM 4 Ede Road Ile-Ife Osun State. Fish Masters Nigeria is located in Calabar, Cross River state at No. 65 Ikot Efa Street, off Ndidem Usang Iso Road, Al-Amin Aqua Nigeria limited is located at No. 97 Abeokuta Road, Ijebu-Ode Ogun State.
Fish farming business in Nigeria, has proved to be yet another profitable agricultural investment.