Fish farming is one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria and many other parts of the world. Fish farming involves the breeding of fishes for personal or commercial purposes.
Fishes contain lots of minerals and vitamins. They abundantly contain iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium and more.
Fishes contain Omega 3 fatty acids, which aids the proper functioning of the heart, and are good sources of minerals and vitamins. Unlike most meat, they have no cholesterol and this brings them to the top of the food chain for the middle-aged and old sect of the population.
Fishes and their products (e.g fish oil) are prescribed by medical staff to supplement or increase some minerals and vitamins in a person.
What’s The Demand For Fish?
The demand for fish is high and increasing as more people discover its usefulness. Also, since it doesn’t have cholesterol like meat, its demand among middle-aged and old people is high.
Tips On Setting Up Your Own Fish Pond
Get equipped with the knowledge you need to start your fish farm. Learn from a fish farmer for as long as you should (preferably about 2 months). The success of your fish farm (and other kinds of livestock farms) won’t come by chance or luck but by knowing what you ought to know.
Land and Location:
The kind of land you get solely rests on your pocket and the size of your business. You can start with the space in your compound if it’s enough to accommodate the fish ponds. You can also start with a half plot of land or a full plot or more, as long as it’s within your capacity.
The location of the land doesn’t matter because fishes don’t create environmental issues.
Once you’ve got a space for the ponds, the next thing to do is build ponds.
For this part, an expert is required. You need an expert in pond construction or expert advice from a good fish farm so that everything is measured correctly and all fall in the right place.
Accessible Water Source:
Natural origins of water (streams, boreholes, unchlorinated well water, etc) must be readily available since water is the habitat of fishes.
Get a Tank or Reservoir:
The tank or reservoir is where water from the natural source is pumped into. This water is carried through the pipes that connect with the ponds and fills the ponds.
Getting the Fishes:
Ensure that the supplier is reputable and that the fishes are healthy and of a good breed.
Startup Cost And Requirements
The startup cost is required to cover the construction of the ponds, the tank or reservoir, the source of natural water, and all in between. The startup cost depends on your capital at hand.
Thankfully, there are several kinds of fish ponds whose prices vary widely.
Fish Pond Construction
There are several kinds of fish ponds: earthen, concrete, plastic, wooden, fibreglass and embankment fish ponds. However, earth and concrete are the two major types.
Earthen Fish Pond:
It’s easy to build. What you need to do is dig a hole in a specific area of the land with a shallow and a deep end/lip. The depth of the shallow lip should be at 1m and the deep lip at 2m.
Concrete Fish Pond:
This involves the use of concrete and blocks to build walls about 5cm thick and a floor about 10cm thick.
Embankment Fish Pond:
This directly involves a natural water source. A fish pond is made from the natural water source (e.g stream) by segregating a part of the source with barriers.
Fiberglass, Wooden and Plastic Fish Ponds:
These fish ponds are built with fibreglass, wood and plastic respectively.
These fish ponds are built with inlets and outlets that bring water in and out respectively. Also, a regular water supply is very essential for all types of fish ponds.
Types of Fish Species
Among the various species of fishes available, only a few can be bred. The three main species of fishes farmers breed are:
Catfishes are one of the easiest to nurture so most fish farmers choose it, especially when they’re just starting.
Catfishes are the type of fish most likely to be paired with a poultry farm because the birds’ droppings can be used to augment the feed for the fishes and to fertilize the pond.
Mackerel tops the chart as the most eaten type of fish in Nigeria. Mackerel fish is popularly known as “Titus”. They reside in the saltwater habitat and are only caught by fishermen. They can’t be bred yet because research is still ongoing about their biology and the possibility of replicating their habitat.
Tilapia ranks second as the most famous fish in Nigeria. It resides in the freshwater habitat. It’s the easiest type of fish to breed and it reproduces and grows at an insanely fast rate.
Challenges of Fish Farming
The capital to start a small scale fish farm can be as high as N400,000-N500,000. The capital for a bigger one blows up into millions. This is because a fish farm needs more structuring than some other livestock farms.
This cost can, however, be reduced by building tarpaulin or plastic ponds which cost about N70,000-N90,000 and are also movable.
Building a fish farm in your compound might reduce the cost to some extent. This is if certain things are already available like the natural water source, land and a tank. What is left is the pond construction, plumbing work, getting the fishes, and everything in between.
Price of Fish:
The price of fish sold by fish farmers is higher in comparison with fishes sold by fishermen due to the cost of feed and management.
This means most people would rather get low-priced good quality fishes from fishermen than high-priced good-quality fishes from fish farmers.
Fishes unlike many livestock animals have no byproducts. Therefore, their farmer lacks other channels of income other than the fishes themselves.
Fish farming is another lucrative livestock business. The availability of fish farms is also on the increasing side as more people find out about its profitability.
With fish farming, you not only make a huge profit at the end, but you also make an addition to the agricultural sector.