The demand for fish is growing in Africa, which has led to a growth in aquaculture, fish farming and fish food. Fish farming is recognized as one of the most primary occupations and lucrative businesses in Africa, especially in parts of West Africa. The Nigerian agricultural sector considers fish farming to be one of its most essential sectors.
Some of the most popular fishes reared on fish farms in Nigeria include catfish, prawn and tilapia. The growth of the fishing industry is due to the increasing population and decreased availability of wild harvests. Also, fish and meat are overtaking greens and veggies in terms of staple food in most parts of Africa.
Fish Farming- Aquaculture Services in Nigeria
The latest innovations in aquaculture have made fish cultivation very efficient and profitable. There are many companies in Nigeria that provide turnkey solutions to those who wish to start their fish farms or improve the existing ones. Based on the climatic conditions, they design infrastructure, draw business plans and supply the equipment required.
Carp is one of the most widely grown types of fish in many parts of Africa. This is one of the most chosen ornamental fish types amongst hundreds of ornamental fish types available in the continent. There is a lot of demand for catfish in Nigeria, and this makes catfish farming a very promising business.
Catfish Farming in Nigeria
Catfish farming in Nigeria is done in two ways — Nursery fish farming and grow out fish farming.
Grow out fish farming can be done independently whereas nursery farming is dependent on grow out fish farming. Catfish farming requires huge capital. So, one has to consider many factors before diving into the business.
Factors to consider when starting a fish farm:
- Land and Infrastructure –
To start a full-fledged fish farm one has to have at least half a plot of land. When choosing the land, one must make sure that it has good access to the main road and that it is in close proximity to a market and labor. The land you choose must be in a place where the climatic conditions are favorable for fish farming. The availability of water supply, drainage facilities and ponds nearby should be taken into consideration.
- Planning Pond Setup –
A pond is the major requirement for fish farming. So plan what kind of pond you require — earthen, plastic or any other type.
- Supply Source of Water –
Once the location and the type of pond are decided upon, a good water supply has to be planned. Bore wells are the best source of water for catfish; also, ensure a backup is set.
- Feeding Catfish and Other Farmed Fish–
Fish food and Fish Food Makers — If your fish farm is going to be a large set up, you require a fish food maker or two to produce a considerable amount of fish food. So look out for suitable suppliers. If your farm is small, you may not need your own fish food machine, as you can prepare food or collect appropriate food scraps for your fish.
- Life Cycle of Farmed Fish
The life cycle of a fish that is farmed begins with fertilization. The eggs are fertilized in trays in a suitable environment. Once they hatch, they start rising up in the water. This is the growing period for the fish. They are then transferred to bigger tanks, where they have enough space to move around. They develop into young fish in the fresh water, where they are fed plenty of fish food so that they grow into adult fish. Once the fish are a good size, they are sent to the market.
Written by Staff Writer