Fish farming in Nigeria is now one of the best popular business people are moving into in 2022, the sudden rise in the cost of fish in the market has boosted the demand for fish farming business in Nigeria.
The quest for food by mankind has evolved from hunting and gathering to husbandry. Over the centuries, this has been successfully achieved on land and water though some has been on subsistence level.
What is fish farming all about? Fish farming is an act of rearing fish for commercial purpose. We all know that naturally fish live inside rivers, pisciculture is the means by which we grow fish at home, mostly for commercial purposes.
Some common species of fish in Nigeria are: Pangas catfish, sea trout, cyprinids, freshwater fishes, silver sea bream, common carp, catla, greasy grouper, bighead carp, Nile tilapia, grass carp, and much more.
The most popular fish species fish farmers grow for commercial purposes are: carp, salmon, tilapia, and catfish.
Most of the fish can’t be rear in Nigeria by fish farmers in Nigeria, this may be because of their nature or because of the low demand of the fish in the market.
Fish farming or aquaculture remains the most untapped investment in Nigeria compared to other agricultural ventures. This venture in conjunction with fisheries enhance: the nutritional improvement of the diet of people; generation or employment in rural area and saving of foreign exchange by the nation.
Advantages of fish farming in Nigeria are:
- It is a cheaper and more reliable method of producing fish
- It utilizes vast available untapped land and water resources.
- It converts to useful purpose land otherwise not suitable for any other form of agricultural e.g swamps, spent lands burrow pits etc.
- It reduces pressure on fishing in natural waters.
- It restocks natural water bodies with fingering.
- It helps generate rural employment.
- It is convenient to practice within living environment.
- It provides the body with cheap animals proteins which are vital for good health.
- It supplements others sources of natural protein that have been on the decline,
Basic methods of fish farming
This is the choosing of a site for fish pond construction which consists of field observation and studies on condition of the area to determine suitable. The major steps for choosing a site for fish pond construction are:
- Nature of soil, rock and trees
- Water supply.
Nature of soil
Practicing of fish farming in Nigeria you need to consider the soils with respect to their water potential properties rather than fertility. There are available changes or management strategies to improve the fertility of the soil.
Ways of determining suitable soil for fish culture
- If a certain quality of soil is moulded into ball thrown up and allowed to fall down on the ground and yet remained intact, then there is enough clay and it is good for fish pond construction. But, if the reverse is the case, it means that the soil is suitable.
- If the quality of the soil is taken in hand and it may contain enough clay, but if it is rough and gritty, it may contain to much sand.
- Avoidance of a site having too much trees. This is because to remove all is too hard and the stump and root get the water polluted as the left over gets decayed. Additionally, where the stumps and roots are roots are removed and properly covered may also cause seepage.
This simply means a layer of land which describes the shape of the land; whether saucer shaped, undulating, flat or hilly, narrow or wide valley.
The type and source of water supply to the culture chamber is just as important. The water has to be enough in amount and of the right quality.
Where a concrete fish pond is recommended, this means that water table to the location is high because of the porous nature of the soil.
In exceptional cases, the soil might be water retentive, but for aesthetic purposes concrete/block culture receptacle might be adopted.
Irrespective of the location chosen, regular supply of water is necessary. Well water or borrhole water if affordable is mostly recommended.
This is propelled mechanically into an overhead tank where it is discharged into the culture chamber by gravity flow.
You can also use rain water gathered from a gutter built on corrugated iron, tap water, which should be allowed for 2 or 4 days before use for evaporation of excess chlorine, stream/river and dam water.
The later mentioned water source could be channelled to the pond through pipe.
Note: water should be filtered to prevent the introduction of extraneous materials.
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Fish Pond construction
Fish pond is a water holding object which fish can be reared to attain different sizes.
This can be concrete, earthen, fibre, plastic and wooden vat. Generally, it is advisable and beneficial to start fish pond construction for your fish farming in Nigeria during dry season mainly concrete and earthen types.
This gives enough time for the culture of fish, during the rains because of easy water availability.
Fish seed production
Fish seed (fingerlings) scarcity is one of the major set back to the rapid growth of fish farming in Nigeria.
Fingerling production or hatchery management involves a long range of breeding activities beginning with the collection, selection and manipulation of breeders for spawning or stripping of eggs up to the nursing of hatchings to at least one month old.
For the above issue to be solved, fish hatchery is set to produce fingerlings. It could be either set for raising fingerling or laver in order to stock the farm or as a breeding centre where it might be sold to other fish farmers in Nigeria.
Feeding of fish and feed preparation
Feed is the single most expensive recurrent input. In many cases, management of food and feeding determine the success or failure of aquaculture as an enterprise.
However, three major factors govern the choice of ingredients, once you have decided to make your own aquaculture feeds.
- Suitable for species being cultured (type and quality)
- Quality available locally and regularity of supply.
Fish farming in Nigeria is very profitable and can make you a millionaire within a year if you are serious about it.
Finally, I will like to know your thought or opinion about fish farming business plan in Nigeria.