Catfish farming is one of the profitable aspects of agriculture. Catfishes are easy to farm in warm climates, leading to inexpensive and safe food at local grocers. It can be very lucrative when raised properly and well managed by the fish farmer.
Catfish can be raised either for personal use or for commercial purposes. raised in inland tanks or channels are considered safe for the environment, since their waste and disease should be contained and not spread to the wild.
You can decide to start a small scale catfish farming business if you are a beginner inorder to understand the business fully before venturing into catfish rearing business in a large scale for more profits.
With many catfish pond near me (ponds) and some catfish farmers raising channel catfish fingerlings for sale near me, raising a commercial catfish farming business will definitely not be as difficult as it sounds with proper guide even if you are a beginner.
Basics Requirements in Catfish Production
The requirements for rearing African catfish include;
- Water: high quality, non-polluted water supply.
- Good Parent Stock / Broodstock: selected broodfish of known origin for fast growth.
- Water chemistry monitoring/test-kits.
- Management: be a good manager of a management plan.
- Business plan.
- Marketing strategy.
However, out of all the basic requirements, the most important is Water. Catfish can survive more than 7 days without eating, but cannot survive in bad water with poor oxygen for 30 minutes.
That our water is looking clean does not mean the water is healthy. That is why it is important to do your water test to protect your fish water from being contaminated.
Catfish Farming Value Chain and Phases of Production
Catfish farming has several stages of production, namely;
- Hatchery: this is the stage at which we collect eggs and sperm from the broodstock to hatch new fishes called Fries.
- Fingerling Production: This is the raising of catfish nursery from fries to fingerlings (usually 6 weeks).
- Melange Production: This is the raising of catfish from fingerlings to three months in which the fish will be at an average weight size of 300-400g. At this stage, it is called mélange.
- Table Size Production: It is the raising of catfish from fingerlings to an average weight size of 500–700g, usually from 4 to 5 months from fingerlings.
- Grow-out stage: This is the raising of catfish from fingerlings to an average size of 1kg upward. At this stage, the fishes are in their bigger sizes.
- Broodstock Production: This is the raising of catfish for the specific purpose of becoming a parent stock for the hatchery. They are raised for one year plus.
- Processed Catfish: This is the aspect of processing catfish through the smoking kiln for human consumption. It is the addition of value to the fish.
This feasibility study prepared for a catfish farm capacity of 10,000 and juvenile catfish where to be stocked. The expenses from pond construction to marketing is considered.
The farm is to have 10 concrete ponds of flow through system and each pond is to contains 1,000 stocked catfish.
Cost of Constructing Each Pond is
Each pond is 3m x 2.5m by 1.4m, each pond consumes 210 blocks and each bag of cement for 30 blocks. Hence 210 x 10 = 2,100 blocks. 2,100/30 = 70 bags of cement needed. 2400 x 70 = 168,000 naira.
4trips of sand used = 7,000×4 = N28,000
2trips of gravel = 32,000x 2 = N64,00
Cost of labor = N150,00
Cost of plumbing (inlet and outlet facility) = N100,000.
The cost of bore hole = N150,000.
Cost of treatment = N50,000.
The cost of juvenile 30×10,000 = N300,000.
Cost of feeding from day one to maturity stage is 200 bags of foreign feed = N1,000,000.
After the average weight of the fish was 1.7kg. And it was sold at 800 naira each. The output was 800×9800 fishes, due to 200 mortality. 800 x 9800 = N7,840,000.
Read Also: The Different Feeds Catfish Eat
Input is N3.25’million. The profit is N4.59 million after six months of culture. Following this cost analysis, you can easily invest N3 million and expect good turnover within six months of harvest and sell.
There is no doubt that fish farming is among the list of lucrative businesses in Nigeria. You need to get it right by drawing complete business plan and following it to the later.
Catfish Farming Pond Setup
As mentioned earlier, there are various pond systems of rearing catfish. However, the most common types used in Nigeria and easy to control are;
- Plastic Pond
- Tarpaulin Pond
- Concrete Pond
- Earthen Pond
You choose your pond system based on the phase of production you want to focus on as each type of pond system performs better under different production phases. For instance, you can’t do hatchery in an earthen pond. Likewise, growth production is suitable in an earthen pond.
Also, you will need expert advice when choosing your pond as there are other factors needed to be considered but are peculiar to every individual.
Setting up the ponds is not difficult. The volume of space you have available will determine the method and cost of your pond construction.
Inorder to achieve an optimum performance from your catfish farming business, below are some catfish breeding practices you should pay close attension to:
- Water: Having selected your water source either through borehole or stream, ensure the water is regularly available and not being polluted from the source. Change your water as often as possible. Within 24-48 hours interval, based on the production phase you are involved in.
- Feeding: Catfish feed can either be imported or locally produced. We have various imported and local feeds in the market. Fish feeds are in pellets ranging from 0.1 mm to 9 mm in size.
Fingerlings eat 2 mm
Melange 4-6 mm
Table size 6 mm
Grow out 9 mm
You need to apply good management skill and follow the acceptable standard. If you do all these, you are sure to make good profit from your fish farming business in Nigeria.
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