Majority of people are interested in diversifying into Agriculture as either an alternative
source of income or the main source of income, but most of them are have little
information and also risk averse. Farmagric has provided an opportunity by giving you
the required knowledge to start up any agricultural venture of yours. With the required
knowledge and guidance, you will be able to minimize your risk and maximize your
profit. Your path to wealth creation just began. Stay in touch as we educate you on
different agriculture system.
CATFISH FARMING IN NIGERIA
The ever increasing population of Nigeria continue to create a gap between the demand
and supply of fish in the market. 40% of Nigeria’s protein intake comes from Catfish. The
annual nation fish demand was estimated to be 3.2 million per annum while the annual
fish supply was estimated to be 1.1 million leaving us with a gap of 2.1 million to fill.
Catfish farming dominates 80% of the Nigeria market while the remaining 20% is
dominated by Tilapia farming.
The wide gap between the demand and supply of fish in Nigeria has created opportunities
for a lot of people that ventured into it. With the ever increasing population Nigeria, the
market is wide enough for everyone to venture and the only constraint is getting it right.
We will provide you with the knowledge that will earn you a 50% margin on your
investment within 6 months.
STARTING A FISH FARM
There are certain things you need to put into consideration while starting a fish
pond and they include:
1. Types and Quality of Pond: There are different types of ponds that can be used
to raise fishes and they include but not limited to earthen, concrete, tarpaulin e.t.c.
Earthen pond remains the best for fish farming because it provides a natural
habitat with source of nutrients to the fishes.
When choosing the right pond, depth and width remains a prirority because it
determines the population of fishes you can raise and vice versa. A standard fish
pond should have a depth of 4 feet and the width depends on the population fishes
you want to raise. A 50ft by 50ft width and 4ft depth will raise 1500 fishes from
Juvenile to adult stage. Another thing to take note is the inlet and outlet which
helps to regulate the water pressure in the pond and saving the fishes from high
water pressure. The inlet serves as a point of entry for water to enter the pond
while the outlet serves as an outlet for water to flow out. Embankments/Dikes is
worthy of mention especially when dealing with earthen ponds. It is built around
the pond to prevent flooding especially during rainy season. It should be 2-3 ft
above the water level.
2. Quality Source of Water: Success of any fish farm business depends on water
management. Fishes tends to pollute their water especially when they are young.
Quality water should be pollutant free and contain enough oxygen thereby serving
as life to the fishes. A constant supply and change of water prevents any kind of
pollution that might lead to diseases or the death of the fishes. Water should be of
good quality and be readily available.
3. Reliable source of Fishes: Obtaining your fishes from the right source will save
you loss of investment. Most people don’t consider that while starting a fish pond.
Nothing beats getting healthy fishes because they save you the stress of diseases
and massive death. Most breeders don’t produce healthy fishes and it causes losses
to the prospective buyer after getting all other things right. It’s a factor to hold on
4. Protective Nets: Irrespective of the type of pond you choose, getting a protective
net is paramount to the success of your pond. Predators ranging from birds, rats,
lizards e.t.c can be your worst nightmare in your farm. Kingfisher is the major
predator of fishes and it operates mostly at night. An open pond is exposed to all
these risk and it can cause loss to the farmer. A protective net is a necessity.
5. Quality and Adequate Fish Feeds: The importance of adequate and quality
fish feeds cannot be over-emphasized. Just as quality water is important, quality
feed is also important. The major ingredient in fish feed is fish meal, if fishes are
not provided with adequate feed the fishes will eat each other and this will cause a
major loss on the part of the farmer. We will talk more on different types of fishes
in later sections.
Once you have all the aforementioned in place, the next thing is to start
thinking of how to set-up your pond. Earthen pond will be our main focus of
discussion but it applies mostly to all other ponds. Just take a sit and
continue to enjoy as we take you along your wealth creation path.
SETTING UP A POND
Setting up a fish pond requires getting a land and digging to the required level.
This is costly for a start-up farmer and might even discourage from venturing into
the production. But you don’t need to always have a land before you start, there
are many ponds available for rent and you can still go for tarpaulin ponds. Renting
an earthen pond is less costly and gives you an opportunity to raise your fishes.
Digging your pond: If you don’t have a pond already, the first thing is to get a
contractor to help dig a pond. A 50ft by 50ft width and 4ft depth will raise 1500
juveniles to maturity in 6 months. The pond can be dug to give any shape but the
required recommendations must be followed by the contractors. If you already
have a pond, skip to the next point.
De-Mud: De-mudding a pond literally means removing mud from the pond and
making the water suitable for the fishes to live in. If it is a rented pond, it is
desirable to mud in-case there are left over fishes from the last harvest which
might serve as predators to your new juveniles in the pond. De-mudding generally
prevents predators, helps to increase oxygen in the water and makes water suitable
for fishes to grow healthy.
Inlet and Outlet: It is a necessity for all kinds of ponds to have both an inlet
and outlet. The inlet serves as a passage for water to flow into the pond while the
outlet serves as a passage for water to leave the pond. An inlet can be placed
higher than an outlet to ensure water inflow and outflow of water in the pond. It
helps to prevent flooding during the rainy season; as water flows in, it flows out
when it becomes too much.
Embankments/Dikes: An embankment serves as a barrier during heavy rainfall.
It is a common problem every catfish farmer have to deal with from time to time.
It is recommended to have at least 2-3ft higher than the highest level of your pond.
Sand-bag is used as embankment or sand removed during de-mudding can be
Treat your pond: Pond treatment is most notable in concrete and earthen pond.
Ponds need to be treated with chemicals after de-mudding it. The chemicals are
used to kill predators and all other organisms left in the pond. Chemicals used vary
amongst farmers and depends on different locations. Most famers use lime while
others use phostoxin, both of them do the same work. It is required to note that the
pond must be filled with water and both inlet and outlet must be blocked before
applying the chemical. The pond is then left for 2 weeks before flushing and filling
again with water.
Protective Net: As earlier mentioned, you do not want to get everything right
and lose your fishes to predators at night while you sleep or in the afternoon while
you are away. Protective net is a necessity for your pond.
STOCKING YOUR POND
Your pond is ready after setting it up the right way and the next thing you want to
do is to stock your fishes in the pond. To stock your fish, you need to know the
right fishes. We will give you all you need to know to succeed.
Fingerlings (3-4 grams)
Post-Fingerlings (4-6 grams)
Juvenile (6-10 grams)
Post-Juvenile (10 grams and above)
The secret behind stocking is to get bigger fishes to stock. Why? The bigger the
fishes, the lower your mortality rate. Let me explain this to you, fingerlings are
smaller fishes compared to post-fingerlings and juveniles. When you stock
fingerlings, due to their small nature, they require intensive care such as feeding
regime (twice a day), maintenance of water, higher mortality rate. The bigger the
fishes, the more rugged they are. It’s advisable to stock juveniles for starter, to
reduce the risk of mortality.
So how do you introduce your fishes into their new habitat after you just brought
them in. It is important to avoid adding to the stress they went through during
transportation while stocking. Stocking your fishes requires you to gently lower
the container in which the fishes came in into their new environment with a
different temperature, this is usually done in the cool hours of the day. By doing
that, they get adapted very fast. It’s advisable to not feed the fishes the same day
you stock them because of the stress and new environment. Feeding starts the