With the current shift to agricultural business, in Nigeria, it is essential for farmers and prospective businessmen to fully harness the potentials in this sector.
For some who are new to the agricultural business, Fish farming is a form of animal production in agriculture, known as Aquaculture. This includes the growing of aquatic organisms like fishes, crustaceans, mollusks etc. found in fresh, salty or brackish water.
In fish farming, fishes are raised in controlled tanks or ponds, in different species, depending on the market demand.
Despite the obvious lucrative nature of fish farming, it is essential to be fully aware of all it entails, to be efficient in this business.
Here is a list of all you need to know before you become a fish farmer:
- TECHNICAL KNOW-HOW / PLANNING
Fish farming like any other successful business requires an enormous amount of planning, knowledge, and skills, before venturing into it. An extensive study of fish production techniques and the cost of equipment are necessary.
When searching for a prospective fish farm, you should look out for the conditions surrounding the proposed location, the water source in the area, the amount of water flowing from it and the water rate and temperature.
Also, the level of conduciveness of the structures around the fish farm and other natural resources available within the area of jurisdiction has to be put into consideration.
- REGISTRATION / LICENSING
Registration makes your business legitimate. Register the business with the Corporate Affairs Commission, and also obtain clearance from associations related to fish farming, for you to operate without obstructions.
- THE CHOICE OF FISHES TO CULTIVATE
Selecting the species of fish is important in determining the appropriate techniques, pond or tank. You can go for catfish or tilapia. Always choose the right fish within your expertise. For beginners, catfish is quite easy to cultivate.
- FINANCIAL ANALYSIS
Be sure to do a good analysis of what you may require to start the business. These may include Construction specifications, equipment, cost of fingerlings, fish feed , electrical power, labour, maintenance, transportation, pond/tanks/aerators, plumbing & pipes, oxygen meters, nets & boots, etc.
- CAPITAL (Start Small)
This is getting started with less than 100 fingerlings. Having a regimented amount of fishes allows you for a start, to manage the factors that come with fish cultivation, such as food, water and weather conditions.
- AVAILABLE MARKETS
Considering your market and those you intend to target before going into fish farming is vital for your business. Once there is a demand for your products, check for seasons with higher demands and also have an alternative marketing strategy and sales plans, in the situation of glut.
- ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS/HAZARDS
Environment matters a lot. Choose the best suitable environment that protects your farm from potential hazards and threats such as vandals, insects, birds, snakes, and cats. The environmental condition could be affiliated with climatic conditions, like the amount of rainfall, the sunshine, etc. Environmental conditions/hazards determine the kind of habitat to be built for fish farming.
Vital fish feed is a premium feed, fortified with essential nutrients that aid the fast growth of fishes. It is suitable for fish farmers interested in the quick growth of healthy fishes and is the only Catfish feed endorsed by the Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN). Vital fish feed comes in various pellet sizes, which range from 0.3-0.8 mm, 2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 6mm, 9mm and 9mm plus.