Five steps to start fish farm­ing busi­ness

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Vic­to­ria Onehi

One busi­ness which is thriv­ing now is fish farm­ing. This is be­cause as more peo­ple are cut­ting down on eat­ing red meat, they are go­ing for health­ier choices like fish.

A fish based busi­ness could eas­ily gen­er­ate good re­turns on in­vest­ment. You could eas­ily make a steady in­come from your home, us­ing aquaculture fish farm­ing tech­niques.

How­ever, get­ting knowl­edge on how the busi­ness runs is very im­por­tant.

A fish farmer and con­sul­tant, Muhammed Shuiab said be­fore you go into fish farm­ing, you need to de­ter­mine whether you want to go into big or smallscale com­mer­cial ven­ture. “Se­condly, the pond sys­tem to adopt; whether it is a flowthrough sys­tem or re­cir­cu­la­tory sys­tem us­ing ei­ther earthen pond, con­crete, or plas­tic tanks re­spec­tively.” Shuaib ex­plained.

Get­ting knowl­edge

There are two types of fish farm­ing, Shuaib said - the “nurs­ery op­er­a­tions and pri­mary op­er­a­tions. Nurs­ery op­er­a­tions in­volve the in­duce­ment of the fe­male fish to lay eggs which are then fer­tilised, in­cu­bated and hatched there­after. The newly hatched fish are known as fries. These fries are then nur­tured for be­tween three to four weeks into fin­ger­lings which are the size suit­able for use in the fish grow-out op­er­a­tions,” Shuaib ex­plains.

In be­tween the nurs­ery and grow-out op­er­a­tions is the pri­mary oper­a­tion. The pri­mary oper­a­tion in­volves the nur­tur­ing of the three weeks old fin­ger­lings for be­tween one to 10 weeks within which they could grow into post fin­ger­lings, mini ju­ve­niles and post ju­ve­niles. These can then grow be­tween four to five months to a ta­ble size fish suit­able for sale and ready for con­sump­tion.

If you want to start small, you can setup a fish pond right in your back­yard. It is also pos­si­ble to raise fish in a fish tank in your garage. You can eas­ily get all the sup­plies you need to set up your small fish farm and start fish farm­ing.

The av­er­age cost of fish in the mar­ket is N600, so if you have a pond and you are able to stock 10,000 fish, I guess you know how much your re­turn on your in­vest­ment will to­tal up to. That will be about N6 mil­lion


“For fishes, water is life,” ac­cord­ing to Mr Felix Mbuk, an­other fish farmer.

“Water sup­ply must come from a good source e.g bore­hole, tap or any spring of water that is flow­ing around your pond. This will help guar­an­tee steady water sup­ply for fill­ing the pond and drain­ing waste re­spec­tively. On my farm, I have a reser­voir where I store water, so I don’t lack water,” Mbuk said.


Again, feed­ing the fish is very im­por­tant. “With­out this, they can­not gain weight. And when they are hun­gry, they can be­come wild. So, you must have money for their food handy at all times. Fish feed is a very vi­tal com­po­nent in op­er­at­ing a fish farm. You must feed the fish to at­tain re­quired weight gain,” Mbuk said.

Cap­i­tal to start

“This varies de­pend­ing on the type of fish farm­ing sys­tems you are will­ing and ready to in­vest on. With a min­i­mum of N150, 000, you can start the pro­duc­tion of fin­ger­lings to grow to three weeks then you can ad­ver­tise for sale to other farm­ers to buy at an av­er­age price N30 de­pend­ing on the size,” Shuaib said.

Know your mar­ket

Once you know what your op­tions are and how much money you need, the next step should be analysing the mar­ket. Who are your buy­ers? What type of fish is most prof­itable?


On how lu­cra­tive the busi­ness is, Shuaib says yes. “The av­er­age cost of fish in the mar­ket is N600, so if you have a pond and you are able to stock 10,000 fish, I guess you know how much your re­turn on your in­vest­ment will to­tal up to. That will be about N6 mil­lion,” he ex­plained. The sec­ond round of Youth En­trepreneur­ship Sup­port Pro­gramme (YESPROGRAMME) or­gan­ised by BOI is now open. Ap­pli­ca­tions Closes on 17 July 2016. It is open for young en­trepreneurs within the age bracket 18-35 years. To ap­ply kindly visit http://on­linereg­por­­board/YesProgramme. Ap­pli­cant who ap­plied for the first round but were not suc­cess­ful are en­cour­aged to im­prove on their sub­mis­sion and re-ap­ply

Suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants can get fa­cil­ity up to 5mi­il­ion for start-ups.

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