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fish farming in nigeria

Fish farming in Nigeria; Complete Information

Fish farming in Nigeria is another lucrative and profitable agricultural business among others and asides poultry. It has caught the heart of many Nigerians especially other young ones because of the profit prospects that could be gained.The fishes that are used commonly for this type of farming practice in Nigeria are bony fishes (tilapia, mudfish, carps, trout, catfish, salmon, perch and herring).

In Nigeria Catfish is the species among the bony fishes classification that is commonly farmed in Nigeria. These hold the tribute to the relative ease of culturing catfish, they are readily available markets for catfish e.g restaurants, most at times people can place an order from your fish pond farm directly, they don’t have to grow to market size before people start placing orders. If you can produce fingerlings, they can be ordered too by people. “This article and our e-book focuses more on catfish farming“.

This type of farming although very lucrative and profitable is very sensitive, any mistake done could lead to the potential loss fishes and the capital invested. So due care must be taken on this type of farming.

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Benefits of fish farming in Nigeria

  • It is a cheap source of protein to both man and livestock; fishes can serve as protein to both humans and livestock
  • Fish can be processed into fish by-products such as fish meal, fish oil, manure and skin
  • It provides income and employment to many people; If you are young Nigerian still looking for a job or if you are willing to diversify income sources. I’d advise you venture into fish farming. Fish farming can also create employment to ever increasing young in our country areas of specialization can be used for a full-time fish farming business these areas include; account and finance, marketing, Business administration, Agriculture and a host lot of other fields.
  • A better use of land and water in our environment is also ensured through fish farming

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Factors to consider Before venturing into fish farming in Nigeria

Before venturing into fish farming in Nigeria, there are a number of factors you have to consider into to attain success. Rearing catfish isn’t just buying fingerlings and dumping them in the pond and feeding them three times a day. The farmer from the onset should consider the following; water, quality of fingerlings, pond design, feeding program, as well as the market.

Let’s elaborate further;

Adequate water supply: There should be constant water supply good quality and quantity, the water should not have a bad smell, taste or color. The water can come from streams, lakes, taps etc.

The soil in the area: If you are considering using an earthen pond the soil must be fertile to soil nutrients to the fish. It should be clay because of its ability to hold water which is very important for fish pond construction.

Vegetation of the area: Grassland is preferred in the area you want to site your fish pond.

Topography: The shape of the land should allow for easy draining and filling of the pond with water. Water should flow in from a place that is higher so that it can flow out from where it is lower. If not, the need for pumps will arise and this increases the cost of the project.

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NOTE: They are other methods for constructing fish ponds examples are; concrete pond, plastic tank, drum pond. These other methods do not need soil, they can be constructed by professional to suit all the requirements of a standard fish pond.

Availability of fingerlings: Fast growing fingerlings or baby fish should be available for stocking the fish pond. Catfish are of different breeds, it is important the farmer takes the time to select fast growing and disease resistant breeds. The use of good breeds in stocking the fish pond makes fish farming in Nigeria profitable.

Pond design: The stocking density is very important and determines the growth rate of cultured catfish, overcrowding catfish will increase competition for resources like oxygen and food. This can promote the growth of some fishes at the expense of others and in the end lead to cannibalism. Besides pressure stresses due to overcrowding are bound to affect the over all-round development of fishes in the pond.The fish farmer should consider the appropriate length and breadth of the pond, depending on the intended number of fishes to stock the pond with. The pond structure should also incorporate provision for separation as growth rate among the fishes is not proportionate to avoid cannibalism.

Availability of feeds:  Feeds constitute the major cost f rearing catfish, usually 60% and above. Imported catfish feeds are the ones most available in Nigeria and cost an average of 6500 per 15 kg bag. A bag can take 700 two months old fishes for just 10 days. Ensure you can contain the challenges of feeding the fishes, before thinking about reaping the profits. Good feeds ensure the rapid growth of the fish pond and allow for high stocking density. Artificial or compounded feeds are used to supplement the natural feed “planktons” planktons are organisms that live in the water with which the fishes can feed on.

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Site selection: This involves selecting the best based on necessary conditions like a site where perennial streams flow or a site that ha an adequate water supply. If you want to construct an earthen pond, the site should be on a fertile and clay soil to prevent seepage of water.

General survey: A detailed survey of the site chosen should be carried out by extension workers. Such workers help determine the height of the pond, the volume of the earth to be used for the dyke, total water surface area, the volume of water in the pond.

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Clearing and stomping of the site: This is the removal of thrash cutting of trees and removal of stumps.

Construction of the dam, core trench, and spillway: The Dam should be constructed with good materials of good quality, clay soil should be used for dam construction because of its ability to hold water. Core Trench is for excavation, the kit is positioned at right angle to the dam. A spillway is positioned at one end of the dam, wood and wire can be used to construct the spillway.

Impoundment of the pond: This involves filling the pond with water.

Liming: Additional limestone or carbonate powder should be used at the sides and bottom of the pond to seal pores and prevent water loss, liming also reduces the acidity of the pond.

Pond Fertilization and Inoculation: Pond fertilization can be done by pouring organic fertilizers such as poultry droppings, cow dung or the use of inorganic fertilizers like N.P.K or superphosphate. Pond fertilization should be carried out 15 days before stocking the pond. Fertilization encourages the growth of planktons (fish feed). Even after stocking the fish pond fertilization should be done once in a month to encourage the growth of planktons in the fish pond.

Inoculation here refers to the introduction of proper plankton species into the pond. This can be done by getting some water from a plankton rich-pond and pouring into the newly fertilized fish pond. When the water begins to turn green, this is a clear indication of the abundance of plankton in the fish pond.

Stocking the pond: Get fingerlings or fries to stock the pond. The fingerlings should not be poured into the pond, rather the container should be placed gently into the water and the fingerlings allowed to swim into the water themselves.

Harvesting: An African catfish takes an average of 5 months to reach table size and this time they usually attain an average weight of 1 kg. The weight attained by the catfish also varies due to the following factors they include; quality of fingerlings used, quality of feeds, water management quality, stocking density, the absence of disease etc. Harvesting should be done regularly to avoid overpopulation, an outbreak of diseases and cannibalism. Harvesting can be done six months after stocking using a net or by drying the pond.

catfish farming









Fish farming in Nigeria

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About Tony Ekuri

My name is Tony Ekuri and I am an entrepreneur into value chain distribution believe me or not, having control over your finances is the best and sustainable way to create and grow wealth.

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