If you are intending to venture into catfish farming but yet to be sure about the benefits and profitability, this post is designed to help your decision.
Every business has its ups and downs. The same is applicable to catfish farming. However, the benefits derived from fish farming are huge and that’s where we will dwell in this post.
Catfish farming involves the building of concrete pond(s), earthen pond(s), tarpaulin, fertilizing the pond, stocking, frequent water change, and feeding the fish up till when you are ready to start selling or consuming them.
What benefits do you get from fish farming? If you’re already a fish farmer reading this post this question is for you. Use the comment section to share your thoughts.
Why Catfish Farming
Catfish is an important dietary and protein source and has become a source of livelihood for many in Africa and beyond. This type of fish is very popular and is the most desirable and preferred fish in Africa.
One good thing about African catfish is that it enjoys a warm climate and can be grown in earth ponds, concrete ponds, tanks, channels, or cages. They grow to reach a market size of between 1-and 1.5 kg within a short time (5-6 months).
African catfish are both carnivorous and herbivorous and that makes them eat almost everything they can find in nature. That notwithstanding, it is important to feed them with high-quality feed to ensure fast growth and optimal weight/size.
See our article on the cost of feeding 1000 catfish. Also, understand that to maximize profit, especially as a new farmer, you must learn how to make catfish feed to reduce the cost of feeding.
Catfish is considered to be rugged unlike other fish, which makes it survive and grow in brackish and low-oxygen water. It can tolerate high density (biomass) per M3 water.
Benefits of Catfish Farming in Nigeria
Like I said earlier, there are benefits derived from fish farming both economical and financial.
The benefits of catfish farming in Nigeria and other parts of Africa n continent can be viewed from different angles. They affect individuals, communities and the country’s macro-economy.
Their importance can be viewed in measurable economic and business terms as well as non-measurable terms, such as health and education.
Some of the catfish farming benefits include:
- Catfish farming reduces fish importation and saves foreign currency expenditure.
2. Boost economic development of GDP.
3. Reduce unemployment, poverty, and political unrest. The business helps to increase the number of possible jobs in the market as it provides both new products for a market and creates job opportunities required to maintain the growth of the business.
4. It reduces malnutrition, illnesses and medical costs.
5. Utilization of unexploited resources – land, water and labor.
These can be viewed as the economic importance or benefits derived from fish (catfish) farming.
Catfish farming has so many benefits. Apart from the few points mentioned above there are other benefits.
These benefits derived from catfish farming include but not limited to the following:
- It is easy to set up.
Anyone can establish a fish farming business within his compound to increase accessibility and reduce costs of transportation.
- Serves as a Source of Omega-3
Just like other fish, catfish is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids which is very beneficial to the human heart and brain. Omega 3 is not produced in the human body and it can only be gotten from an external source. That is where fish comes in to serve that purpose.
- Easy to Maintain
Unlike other livestock farming, catfish require simple maintenance ranging from feeding and frequent water change. Meanwhile, adequate training is a must to avoid mistakes that will lead to losses. With adequate knowledge, expertise and resources, fish can be very easy to handle.
- It is profitable
There is no doubt that the catfish business is one of the most lucrative agricultural business ventures. Every aspect of this business produces income. Think of organizing training, feed production, smoking of the fish, fingerlings production, farm tours, etc. All these are areas to keep the money coming. With a well-written business plan, resources needed and expertise you can easily have great success in the business. With good management, you can be making between N1 million and N3 million profit monthly.
- Constand demand and supply
Being that every family needs meat or fish to cook their meal the demand for the product will not seize. As far as people continue to eat food, the demand for fish will remain. This means that demand will remain stable all year round and since fish grow rapidly, there will always be enough to supply. Investing in fish farming will definitely incur a large and stable stream of profits over time
Currently, catfish is relatively cheaper than red meat, chicken, and other types of fish on the market which makes it a fast-selling commodity. It is therefore an attractive venture as it remains the top choice for consumers in terms of affordability.
- Causes no hazard in the environment
The rearing of catfish has no environmental hazard like the poultry business. It makes no noise and does not pollute. As a matter of fact, fish farming generally is environmentally friendly but that does not stop you from channeling your waste properly.
- Easy addition to general farm activities
Farmers can easily incorporate fish farming with their already existing crop farming and other livestock farming. In crop farming, water from the fish farm can replace other forms of mature because it serves as manure. Having it as an addition to your already existing farm will improve your profit while conserving water and other resources.
- Reduces unemployment
Assuming that 10 million Nigerian youths are fish farmers and each employ at least two persons, that means that about 20 million Nigerians will be productively engaged.
Fish farming is one of businesses that people are advocating for the youths to venture into due to its numerous advantages.
Sometime in the year 2015, a State House Representatives by name Lynda Ikpeazu organised a two-day fish farming training for youths and women of her constituency in the bid to reduce youths unemployment in Anambra State.
The training which lasted for 3days was handled by the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Lagos. At the end of the training, the college issued certificates and N50,000 each to 150 participants from the lawmaker as take-off funds to start their own fish farm.
Catfish farming has over time proven to have more benefits compared to most farming businesses both in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
There is no limit to the benefits you can derive from catfish farming business. You can turn your knowledge and training into money through, consultation, fingerlings production, feed production and sales, and readable material such as books, handouts and ebooks and general setup training.
What other benefits do you think one can get from fish farming that are not listed in this post. Kindly share your though with us using the comment box.