At earlier times, agriculture was our main focus. This included livestock farming, plantations, peasant farming, crop production, and lots more. This was the basic system of farming in Nigeria.
However, as we continued to evolve, we began to see different ways for us to make more income. One of these options was fish farming. Fish farming involves the rearing of fisheries and its resources for commercial purposes.
This has become a major source of livelihood for many people in Nigeria. Beforehand, fishery resources could be harvested in rivers. While this method is still used, man, through research, has made a breakthrough by creating a cultured environment for the cultivation of some commercial fishes.
With a cultured system in place, you’ll be able to avoid the cost of going to particular water bodies in search of fish.
So, why should I go into fish farming?
First, it’s a profitable niche and with a lot of demand for this resource, the market is here to stay for a long time. Research has shown that our fishery resources are depleting. If you can find a way to cultivate these fishes, then you’re on your way to wealth.
Secondly, fish contains most of the essential nutrients needed by man. It’s a rich source of calcium and phosphorus. It’s also rich in iron, iodine, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and other minerals.
It also contains Omega-3 Fatty acids which is very good for the heart. The fisheries sector is based on a lot of research. For this reason, you need to understand what you’re going into. Your knowledge about this business would determine your success.
How do I start fish farming?
For starters, you need to undergo a training procedure. Raising fish to table size is not easy. As earlier said, knowledge is very important. You need to know about the fish you want to raise, their environment, and everything in between.
For existing farmers, putting all your eggs in one basket is not always a good decision. If you’re looking for an investment that would fetch you returns within 3-6 months, then you should consider fisheries.
Here are some steps you need to take if you’re new to fish farming in Nigeria.
Get a good location
For starters, if you want to test the waters, you can start from your backyard. Just buy a tank and you’re good to go. You can choose to use earthen ponds or concrete ponds if you’re willing to get into the game.
Know your source of water
Let’s say you love barracuda. If you desire to have a farm that could raise this fish there are a lot of things to consider. One of them includes water. A Barracuda fish can not be trained with the same water conditions as a freshwater catfish.
We have different species of fish and most of them thrive in a marine, brackish, or freshwater environment. It would be great if you could know the best environment to train your fish.
Choose your fish
There are a lot of commercial fish in the market. While some of them can be raised, others can only be captured from the wild. As an entrepreneur, you’re in business to make a profit. You must choose a fish species that is in high demand.
In Nigeria, while re-inventing the wheel is good, it might cost you a lot. Just pick something marketable and start from there okay?
For starters you could get Clarias gariepinus, Heterobranchus bidorsalis, Clarias AND Heterobranchus hybrid (Heteroclarias) or you could go into Tilapia farming as well. It’s best if you start with juveniles.
Compared to fingerlings, juveniles have a low mortality rate. You can get these Juveniles from any reputable hatchery.
Concrete, earthen, or tarpaulin?
it’s your choice but, you need to consider your environment. If you’re in a swampy environment with a high soil permeability, it’s best if you create an earthen pond. In some cases, If you’re in an urban environment then having a concrete pond may be the best option.
If you don’t have enough money to do this, then you should consider having a fiber or tarpaulin pond.
Types of fish farming practices in Nigeria