Recently, fish farming business is one of the fastest growing agricultural businesses in Nigeria. Fish farming business is highly profitable and generates steady income once you start up. This article will show you how you can start up a fish farm from the confinement of your home until you reach the stage of raising it in large quantities where you need to acquire a specific location and do it as a full time commercial fish farming. You can also include other agricultural activities such poultry farm.
The idea of fish farming is for the production of fish in a very large quantities. The breeding of fish in large quantities through fish farming is as a result of the quest for protein, fatty acids and other essential nutrients which is contained in fish which is useful in the human body. It also extends wider to be used by pharmaceuticals for production of medicines extracted from the medicinal properties of fish.
Most fishes contains omega-3-fatty acids which is used to treat disease like epilepsy, cataract, leprosy etc.
Fish farming has various stages starting with the artificial method of hatching fishes to the stage where it is matured for consumption.
Starting a fish farm is not what you have to start thinking of how you can get a large area of land before you start up compared to a poultry farm. You can start up a fish farm right in the comfort of the external part of your house or creating a very conducive place in the internal part with a well channeled drainage system. If you choose to make it external, it could be at backyard or any external part of your house where you can accumulate a space for a fish pond. You must also ensure that you provide a very good drainage system.
Before creating your fish pond you have to decide on the type of fish production you want to venture into either production of hatchlings or purchasing hatchlings and breeding into matured fish for consumption. Moreover, you can as well combine the two methods of production they are all and highly profitable.
Moreover, if you have enough capital you can merge your fish farm with a poultry farming business but this will not have to be in the comfort of your home but if you have enough space you can but for the sake of environmental health and safety as recommended in the regulatory act for poultry farming business. I advice that you do it outside your home but if you will be able to maintain a high level of hygiene then you can set the ball rolling.
Factors to Consider Before Starting a Fish Farm
Select a Niche:
Before starting a fish farm as well as a poultry farming business, one of the important factor to consider is the area of production that you want to invest in. You have to decide the species of fish that you want to rear.
For the species of fish, you have to consider if you want to raise a tilapia, cat fish, tuna, eel, salmon, cod, carp and trout, bluegill, perch or European sea bass etc.
But for beginners, it is good to start with warm water fishes such as tilapia and trout because you can raise tilapia with your indoor fish pond but you can also raise it with your external fish pond. Also, you have to consider the temperature, it can be raised in a vinyl-lined pool. Also, another fish that you can use to start up a fish farm as a beginner is cat fish because they are fast in growth. According to Mother Earth News catfish can grow as large as 16 (sixteen) ounces in 5 (five) months.
Moreover, if you have a plan to raise a cold water fish such as perch, bluegill, European sea bass etc, you must consider an external fish pond most favorable in the rainy season or where the climatic condition is cold.
Also, if you want your niche to focus on hatching fingerlings alone, it a nice idea because it saves cost and the output is faster than raising the hatchlings into maturity for sale. It is also a factor to consider before starting up a fish farm.
Select your location:
In selecting a location for fish farming you have to consider if you are using an external or internal source. External source of breeding fish involves building a half walled pond either close to the fence and setting up a drainage beneath it, or making use of a large drum such as a geepee tank cut into half. If you want to make it internal, an aquarium can be used.
Also, try to site your fish farm where there is shade. Also ensure that other external source of water like rain will not invade into the pond because these always lead to a great loss. Another important factor you have to consider while choosing a location is the temperature. Check if the temperature will be suitable and favorable for the desired species that you want to raise.
Fish hygiene involves the periodic drainage of water from the pond, addition of chemicals to kill germs, oxygen sufficiency etc. This is to ensure that your fishes are in good health to avoid running a loss at last.
A very good drainage will help to remove toxic ammonia and other waste products released by the fishes. After drainage, add some chemicals to the new water to be supplied to enable them stay healthy. Oxygen sufficiency is very important, the water needs to have full supply of oxygen which can be achieved with the use of an aerator, air pump or oxygen injector.
In starting up a fish farm, you must find out the type of feeds used in breeding the niche that you want to deal with. Also you must note the type of feeds that your breeds mostly feed on also try to provide natural aquatic plants.
After putting the above factors into consideration and arriving at a successful conclusion the next factor to consider is the total amount you will use to start up. You have to consider the price of the tank or pond or constructing a half blocked wall that you want to use in starting. Also consider the price for the hatchlings and the number you want to raise, price of the chemicals to sterilize the water, the price for a fertile male and female adult species that you will use for hatching, price for feeds.
Suitable management plan:
Every business has a management plan in order to guide you on how to run your business smoothly. Your management plan in fish farming should guide you on how to regulate their feeding, when to drain, periodic temperature evaluation, water quality, disease control, with this on your mind you will have a well breed species.
I don’t think any business can be called a business without any marketing plan. Your marketing plan in fish farming should guide you on how to distribute your produce to canning industry, retailers in the market, hotels, bars, pharmaceuticals and wherever you think they need fish.
You will achieve this by creating suitable methods of advertisement. You can also serve as a retailer take your produce to the market and sell them at your interest rate which might be cheaper than the normal retailers. This will bring you much customers before you know you are ready to go for that day and you can also employ more hands to assist you in selling in other markets.
With the above consideration you can be a very successful fish farmer, always endeavor to go close to those that have been into the business for a long time and inquire more knowledge, especially in the aspect of hatchlings which is more faster.
Benefits of Fish Farming Business
- It provides income for both individuals and the government
- Fish farming business also generates revenue to the state
- Fish farming also provides an easier way to breed sea foods in large quantity thereby enhancing food sufficiency
- It provides pharmaceuticals with nutrients for supplementing medicines
- This business creates job opportunity to farmers