Fish is a staple food for many Nigerians. Fish consumption accounts for over 40 per cent of the protein sources consumed in the country. The consumption of fish has shown an upward growth trend with an annual consumption of about 3.2 million metric tons, of which 2.1 million metric tons are imported each year.
However, since the beginning of the Millennium, Nigeria has seen the aquaculture subsector experience growth and development, as the country now ranks amongst Africa’s largest producers of fish; only second to Egypt, whose aquaculture products have Nigeria as its main African market destination.
It is advisable for intending investors to go for training on fish rearing before venturing into fish farming. The training would have properly equipped you on the nitty-gritty of fish farming and how to overcome challenges that may come in the process of farming.
The most farmed species of fish in Nigeria are catfish and tilapia, even though Nigeria has an environment that supports the farming of other tropical species of fish.
A fish farm is considered to be well planned when the water control structure, different pond compartments/sizes and other management structures complement each other.
For a small fish farming, N500,000 to N800,000 will be enough as initial capital, while medium sized fish farming will require a minimum of N3 million.
People assume that the larger their pond, the bigger the fishes will be. This is not the case. The size of your pond does not affect the growth. However, there are factors that can affect growth of fishes mostly in small ponds. They are; heredity, how you feed them and the quality of the water you put in them.
Speaking on the challenges, the Managing Director/CEO, Jovana Farms, Prince Arinze Onebunne, said that, “One of the challenges is that farmers receive little or no help from the government, following the cost of fish meals being on the high side. There is also the challenge of power supply where people spend much on diesel to power generators and in most cases dig boreholes in their farms to enable them get enough water for the business. That is why farmers are not meeting the demand for fish consumption and the country spends much on imported fishes,” he stressed.
He also said investing in wrong fish is also another problem that farmers face.
LEADERSHIP findings revealed that with N3 million investment one can gain N1 million profit within six months. This translates to about 33 percentage profit growth in a six month cycle. To Prince Arinze Onebunne, “In spite of the challenges in the industry, fish farming in Nigeria is a very lucrative and dynamic business that Nigerians can venture into.”