This article explains all the basic and complex things you need to know about fish farming in Nigeria, using simple English for easy understanding.
Fish farming is a significant type of aquaculture. It involves commercial rearing of fish in tanks or enclosures. There are many species of fish, but not all these are suitable for farming in Nigeria.
Fishes that are mostly farmed in Nigeria are those that thrive well in Nigeria due to either favorable rearing condition or ready market available for such. Fish farming in Nigeria is a major source of income for both small and medium scale entrepreneurs.
Because of these, the species of fish that are mostly reared commercially by the Nigerian farmer are salmon, tilapia, and catfish. The most common fish species are
Methods of fish farming in Nigeria
The methods of fish farming in Nigeria are extensive and intensive aquaculture.
Extensive aquaculture is where fishes are breed under natural water like stream or river, while Intensive aquaculture is where fishes are reared in containers and are fed with fish feeds.
Fish species that are farmed in Nigeria
The most popular species of fish that are farmed in Nigeria are provided below:
1. Cat Fish
Although Catfish is not the specie of fish that is mostly eaten in Nigeria, it is the most cultivated species of fish. The reason for this is that it is the specie of fish that is the easiest to farm. Many people go into catfish farming in Nigeria because it is the simplest type of fish specie to farm.
Tilapia is the second most reared fish specie in Nigeria after catfish. Tilapia naturally lives in fresh shallow water. Tilapias are as well very easy to farm and are more widespread in the Nigerian market. It has a fast and rapid yield.
Mackerel is the specie of fish that is mostly eaten by the Nigerian population, but unfortunately, it is not farmed.
It is the specie of fish that is popularly known as Titus. All the mackerel fish in the Nigerian market are caught straight from the Nigerian waters. Mackerel grow in salty water.
Many farmers are currently experimenting to find out whether it is possible to create an artificial environment similar to the seawater to see if it is possible to rear tilapia commercially in Nigeria.
Until a conclusion is reached on the finding, if you plan to go into fish farming in Nigeria, it is better to focus only on catfish and tilapia if you hope to make more financial gain.
Materials Needed For Fish Farming In Nigeria
1. Get a secure Land
Fish can be reared in any location because it does not constitute any form of danger to the environment.
Secure cheap land that you can pay. The size of land you will acquire depends on your start-up capital and the size of the farm you want to establish. The average size of a fish farm can be done in a plot of land.
Nevertheless, if you want to go for a bigger plot of land, it is perfectly okay so long as you can afford it.
2. Build your fish Ponds
Get an expert to build the fish pond for you. Alternatively, you can go for a survey on another fish farm and obtain the construction plan to help you with an idea of how to go about with your own. The plumbing work must be done appropriately to ensure proper drainage.
3. Get Training
Not the kind of training you get online or the kind gotten from one-day seminars we see these days. To be grounded, you need to get attached to a fish farm for a proper understanding. For you to be an expert on this trade, you need at least two to three months of practical training.
4. Construct a Borehole
To do fish farming successfully, you need a sufficient supply of water. Adequate water supply will determine, to a great extent, the success of your fish farm. Inadequate amounts of water may lead to massive death and failure because the water in the fish pond ought to be changed at a constant interval.
You need a natural source of water or borehole to be able to do fish farming efficiently. Rainwater and tap water are not suitable for fish farming.
Other things you require to set up a fish farm is water reservoir like an overhead tank, good quality juvenile fish from other fish farm and proper prior training to make sure you have all it takes to manage your farm when you are correctly set up.
Benefits of Fish Farming
1. Fish is very popular
Fish and fishery products are the most popular animal products in the Nigerian market. It constitutes more than 60% of meat-related products in the Nigerian market.
2. Fish is a good source of protein
Fish is a very good source of protein. It is a high-quality protein filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins. Fish is also highly rich in phosphorus and calcium; it is also a good source of minerals, such as iron, magnesium, zinc, iodine, and potassium for the body.
3. Fish Sells Quick
Fish has a very high demand in the market. It sells much faster than other animal products in the market and is cheaper than meats in general, which makes the first choice in terms of affordability.
4. Fish Matures Quickly
Fish grows rapidly if proper steps are taken. Practices in fish farming in most parts of the world make it possible for fish farmers to increase the fastness of their fish growth by giving them specific feeds, which ensures that you harvest and sell in a short period.
5. Fish Contains Omega-3
Fish consumption is one of the best sources of Omega-3 acid. Fish is the most significant source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which is hugely beneficial to a human being’s heart. Omega-3 helps to maintain the brain and heart health.
Since the human body does not produce the Omega-3 fatty acids, the only source through which we can get it is through what we eat. And in that fish is the king.
6. Fish Farming is Profitable
Fish farming is a very lucrative business. With the right planning and good management, we make 5% to 15%% monthly profit. This means that the payback period fish farming in between 2 to 3 years.
7. No Environmental Hazard
Farming of fish does not cause an environmental hazard. Unlike other types of farming like the poultry, in the case of fish, you can set up the fish farm just anywhere, this includes residential areas. If your compound is spacious, you can easily set up a fish farm within your backyard, which will warrant no precaution.
Problem with Fish Farming in Nigeria
1. Fish farming is sensitive to manage
Fish is sensitive to manage; just a slight mistake can lead to degenerated growth of your fish. In some cases, it can result in the death of the fishes, and this will cause a massive loss in revenue.
2. Fish farming capital intensive
Setting up a standard fish farm requires lots of capital. On like the case of bird poultry, setting up a fish farm requires careful planning and more capital input.
A small fish farm may take up to five hundred thousand naira to set up, while bigger ones require millions of naira.
3. Fish is Priced High
Due to the cost of input, fish that grows in the private pound is more expensive than those they were gotten from the rivers by fishermen. Although there had been arguments that the natural one tastes better, but still this does not reflect on the price.
4. No Byproduct
This the biggest advantage of fish farming over the poultry. This makes it less stressful and easier to manage. You can do it yourself as a part-time job without needing to employ the services of a third-party.
Types of Fish Feeds In Nigeria
- Processed Feed: The processed fish feed is the type of food that is filled with the right amount of minerals and vitamins. This type of feed can come in crumb form, tablet, pellet, and flakes.
- Live Fish Feed: The live feed is the best type of fish food one can get. It can be used to mimic the exact feeding habits of fishes. Thus, every fish can follow its instincts to eat up the right amount of food. The most suitable kinds of live fish food are red worms, black worms, white worms, glass worms, and blood worms.
- Fresh Food: One of the greatest benefits of fresh food for fish is that it is highly proteinous. Example of fresh food includes vegetables and meat.
- Frozen Food: This type of food is specially produced for market use. It keeps the fish ever fresh.