Catfish Farming in Nigeria- How to Start (Practical Guide)

How profitable is catfish farming in Nigeria? We will find out by interview a veteran catfish farmer, Mr. Shonde from Ogun state. According to him, the profitability of catfish farming in Nigeria depends on many factors, which we will consider as we go on.

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Fish is one of the major proteins consumed by man. As matter of fact, taking a trip down the road of history one might never be able to trace when exactly man started to consume fish products. With the population of Nigeria at almost 190 million, it is not surprising that the demand for fish is hardly met.

The demand for fish has given birth to rise in fish farming in Nigeria, more especially catfish farming. Presently about 65% of the families in the country have at least meal with fish once a day. That same 65% consumes catfish at least once a week. I must say at this point that catfish is one of the most popular fish species consumed in the country.

Hence the need to key into this multi-million Naira venture, which is catfish farming. The catfish farming tips you will learn here is applicable to any level of catfish farming you intend doing.

Before you conclude that catfish is the only kind of fish we have, there are about 10,000 species of aqua life discovered every year. We consume less than 1% of what we have in terms of aqua life. There are several fish species like salmon, tuna, tilapia, carp, etc. Asides these we also have crustaceans like crabs, lobsters, shrimp, crayfish, etc. I could go on but the focus of this article is all about catfish fish farming in Nigeria.

Let’s Meet Our Guest For Today

Today we have with us Mr. Shonde who is a very successful catfish farmer resident in Ogun State. He is renowned for his tact with fish and his products are in great demand all over the state and beyond. It is funny that he didn’t study fish farming or agriculture; he is a graduate of English Language by profession.

What Raised Your Interest in Catfish Farming?

For me there was a vast array of opportunities to use my BSc. Certificate but when I looked at the marketability of catfish, there was just nothing else I could invest in. Catfish farming is one of the most lucrative businesses to invest in presently and I would break that down.

Firstly, Nigerians are a people of fun and entertainment. For this reason there are so many bars around, on a street in an average area you could find 2 or 3 bars. Each of these bars sell catfish (point and kill) pepper soup on a daily basis, this is one way catfish is sold.

When you drive by in the evenings, you see people grilling catfish for sale; most of them end up selling all of their stock at the end of the day. There are several hotels in town who make use of catfish as a major part of the delicacies served.

I believe from all that I’ve stated it is evident that catfish farming is very lucrative and that is what attracted me. I knew that with a little investment of about a hundred thousand Naira I could kick off and since then I haven’t looked back. Today my farm is making a lot of profit from my initial investment. In fact, one can start small scale catfish farming in Nigeria with less than fifty thousand Naira.

Is Catfish Consumption Very Healthy?

Before setting up my catfish business, I went ahead to study a bit on the nutritional content of the fish. Statistics show that catfish is one of the most nutritious and recommended fish species in the world. This is majorly because of the low fat and cholesterol content and the high protein value.

So for people crossing the age of 40 upwards, it is advised that they reduce their meat consumption and eat more of catfish. This is another reason why catfish farming is so lucrative.

What is The Initial Capital Outlay For Catfish Farming?

As I stated earlier, when I started my farm I did so with just a hundred thousand naira. That might be a bit farfetched now considering the present economic climate. The whole idea about catfish farming is that when it comes to the capital, it depends on what scale you want to operate.

If you’re just a small scale farmer desiring to run a small scale catfish farming in Nigeria, you might not need up to a hundred thousand. All you need is money to get your initial stock and a plastic tank to place the fish. You’ll also need to invest a little in the feed, which doesn’t cost so much. It is key to note that with catfish farming there is a lot of room for improvisation.

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What do You Consider in Setting a Catfish Farm?

Setting the fish farm is key to the success of the farm, if the location is not conducive for the fish you might end up losing your stock. It’s great to note that unlike poultry or some other forms of livestock farming; you can raise catfish amidst people without cause for alarm.

There is no noise from the fish neither do they produce waste that is smelly. As long as you manage the area properly there is no cause for alarm. Regardless of these, there are a few factors to consider in establishing catfish farming in Nigeria, they include:

Closeness to Water Source

Fish do not live on land, they predominantly stay in water and thus need water for survival. This means that the farm should be sited close to a constant source of water. I said constant source because some water sources may dry up in the dry season and this will affect the farm adversely.

Closeness to Market

The closer the farm is to the customers the easier it is for them to patronize the farm. To this end ensure that your catfish farm should be close to the customers such that they do not spend much to visit the farm. As much as you want the farm to be close to the market also ensure that it is accessible to the customers as well.

Proper Drainage System

Though raising the fish around people may not be a nuisance but when you do not properly dispose of your waste you will. Ensure that you consider waste disposal when choosing your farm site. This way you do not attract embarrassment from your neighbors.

Spacious For The Ponds

Ensure that the ponds are spacious enough to accommodate the number of catfish you want to raise. Also create space for expansion; you definitely do not want to stay on startup level forever.

What Are The Different Types of Ponds?

There are two main types of pond used in the country today, they are:

  1. Earthen ponds. This is more capital intensive, though it allows for more fish.
  2. Plastic tanks. This is best for small scale startups.

How do you Stock The Farm?

For a small or medium scale catfish farming in Nigeria it is best to buy fingerlings from a trusted supplier. This helps you avoid unnecessary costs on the long run. But, if you’re going into large scale catfish farming then you must learn hatchery. This means you’ll be producing your fingerling

What do You Suggest The Catfish Are Fed?

If you have never been involved with catfish farming before, it is advisable that you seek expert advice. There are several feeds on the market and you can just make research to find out the best for your farm. You could also improvise if you’re on a tight budget and use feed ingredients like soya bean cake, groundnut cake, blood meal, etc.

How Profitable is Catfish Farming in Nigeria?

As I earlier said, profitability of catfish farming in Nigeria depends on many factors, some which I have listed above. But if all factors are equal, then you stand to make over 100% of return on investment in each stock you make.

The reason for high return on investment is that there is usually no or little mortality rate. In fact, if you do your homework well, you’ll never record the death of even a fish.

Catfish Farming in Nigeria – Wrap Up

Obviously, catfish farming in Nigeria is one of the most lucrative agric ventures anyone can go into today. The demand is on the rise. In fact, the supply can never match the demand, therefore there is always room for being rich as a catfish farmer in Nigeria.

A lot of people have failed in fish farming because they were only interested in the profit without taking time to master the art. So, if you are considering going into fish farming in Nigeria then take time to learn the curve before staking your hard earned money.

Catfish Farming in Nigeria – Business Plan

If you failed to plan then you planned to fail. Therefore, before going into fish farming you need a comprehensive business plan. The plan will be designed to be your roadmap from begging to finish.

To save you the hassle of making one, I’ve designed a bankable and investor friendly catfish farming business plan with 3 years financial structure at affordable rate of N30,000

For instant access, Whatapp me on 07033680227 or send mail using the “contact me” link above

 

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