Catfish farming is no doubt one of the most lucrative businesses you can go into in Nigeria now.
It is a well-known fact that the fish is one of the most widely consumed in our country today.
Starting the business will expose you to so many opportunities which will generate lots of money to you.
Do you have access to good water and have been thinking of how to utilize the God’s given gift?
You love barbecue and hear people talk about roasted fish, it’s cost, and sweetness and you imagine yourself being part of the business, but you had no idea.
Here is perfect guide on how you can start your Catfish business as a Nigerian.
This guide features nearly everything you need to know about the business.
Read keenly and you will be glad you did.
How Profitable Is Catfish Farming Cultivation in Nigeria?
Presently, the cost of 1kg of Catfish cost about N1000. Imagine having about 1,000 catfish in your pond.
Imagine cultivating your catfish in an urban area, with good road and nearness to market. Not just in rural areas.
The profits you will be making from that is mind blowing. You need no one to convince on how profitable the business is.
Even after expenses, you will still have enough funds left.
Advantages of Catfish Farming Business
Just like every other business, catfish farming has its own advantages and disadvantages.
These are what farmers and individuals consider before venturing into the business.
Below are some of the basic advantages of establishing the business.
- Catfish is strong and resistant to diseases if properly fed
- The fish is easier to breed than other species
- It grows very fast. That is the reason the business is always recommended for farmers hoping to start earning from fish farming as soon as possible
- It is a very popular source of protein. It is highly consumed around the world for this purpose
- It is profit oriented. It catfish about 4 – 5 months to get to table level. That means within 12 months, you will be breeding about 2 sets of it. If you really know what you are doing, you will be making large profits from this. Especially if you follow the instructions in this guide
- Catfish is preferred in most restaurants for making barbecue, pepper soup and all sorts of delicacies
- When it comes to entertainments, catfish also takes the lead. That explains why it is always the top demand at events in big hotels
- Catfish farm is easy to setup. You can always find experts to help you set it up from the scratch. There are so many people offering the service in Nigeria
- Catfish oil is medicinal. As such, it is used to cure many ailments like inflammation, depression, and anxiety. It also promotes healthy foetal brain function and good eyesight. It also helps to maintain bone density. When used in pregnancy and newborns, it lowers the risk of type 1 diabetes
- It supports a healthy immune system and helps tackle Illnesses like upper respiratory problems. It lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and prevents mental health disorders
- The oil is also known to help in reducing waist circumference and helps to keep the skin and liver healthy.
- Though catfish oil is very good for the body, without a doctor’s prescription, it may not be advisable to take it.
- For instance, it can cause nausea, loose stool, skin rash, indigestion and fish tasting burps.
- It also reduces vitamin E level and can cause interactions with contraceptive medications, weight loss drugs containing Orlistat and blood medications. It can also lead to blood clothing or nosebleeds.
Catfish Breeding / Requirement
Starting a catfish business is not a big deal. It depends on your scale. But at home, aquariums or in closed water supply installation.
The best condition for starting a fishpond is to start it in a place with a shade or a muted light environment or habitat, which is why they grow faster.
Again, they are resistant to diseases.
How interesting Biology states that catfish can survive without water for two days, breathing as usual.
They can live on land and can jump up to 2 meters in search of water.
The requirements for starting catfish cultivation in Nigeria are:
- The deeper your pond is, the better. Consider the width and depth of your fishpond at least 4 feet deep. Though that depends on the number of fish you want to cultivate.
- Ensure good quality water i.e. the inflow and outflow of water. Do not use boiled or aluminized water but use water from a stream or river- natural water. It’s always safe and fit for their system. Lack of good quality water can make them not to feed well. If that ever happens, they are likely not to grow well and fast. But if there is inflow of good water and an outflow of used water, you are going to make a lot of profits from the business.
- Cultivate your fish in a land that is waterlogged. That means even in dry season, the fish won’t lack water. There will be steady water that will neutralize and leave the pond refreshed. It will also help to dilute the polluted water in the pond which usually consist of remnants of the food they ate and waste products from the fish. If you are using tanks or concrete ponds, always drain off the polluted water and fill the ponds again with good water.
- Look for a fish farmer that is successful for years, ask him where his gets his juveniles. Good juveniles eat well, withstand stress and should be from 7 – 9 weeks old, with the average of 7 – 15 grams. Though this depends on the source. Poor juveniles may be cheap, but they can frustrate you in the long run.
- Whatever you are using to cultivate your catfish (concrete pond, earthen pond, tank etc.) endeavor to put a protective net. The reason is simple- monitor lizards, birds, and other kinds of predators love eating juveniles. I’m sure you didn’t buy your juveniles to feed them. Once the juveniles are up to two months old, predators won’t be able to get them easily.
- Right Feed/Feeding Mode. Feeding your fish right is also very essential. Without feeding them well, you are likely not to make many profits. In their 1 – 2 months, give them floating feed then switch to sinking or local feed later.
- Go for training. Insist on not receiving payments. Just learn with keen interest from experts- people who have been in the business for years and have made much positive impacts.
Convince yourself first that surely this is what you want, and the learning process won’t be a problem for you.
Are There Risks Involved In Cultivating Catfish?
Yes, there several misfortunes that might befall you. However, with adequate knowledge of the business, you will overcome them.
Fish farming is not always as easy as it seems. It’s not a business for lazy people. You can only find it easy when you are fully determined to do it, regardless of what comes your way. It is far more difficult to run than poultry or even snail farming.
Also, you need to know that if you plan on setting your fishpond on concrete, dry land or even tank, it will cost you a fortune.
Apart from that, poor feed, wrong choice of fingerlings or juveniles, overcrowding them and overall mismanagement, affect fish farms easily than any other livestock business.
How Long Does It Take Catfish to Grow?
For a juvenile to grow to table level or start generating some benefits for the farmer, you need to have some patience.
That is because the maturity age is usually 4 months. Though this varies from specie to specie.
For some, it can be up to 5 months and above.
If you fail to wait for your fish to mature well, it might reduce the price you could have sold it to customers, bringing you great loss.
Starting catfish farming business in Nigeria is not always an easy task. But the proceeds from the business is worth the stress.
Are you planning on starting the business in your neighborhood?
All you need is determination and focus. There will be times when you will feel like quitting.
Especially when the result is not coming as fast as you expect.
Just hold on and keep pushing. Within 6 months of starting it, your fish will be fully mature and then you can start smiling to the bank.