Fish Farming Business [A 2021 Definitive Guide]

Last Updated on January 6, 2021 by Henry Ibeleme

Fish Farming In Nigeria

I recently got a request from a reader to write on how to start fish farming in Nigeria. Prior to that request, I’ve always known the lucrative nature of this agribusiness.

I graduate from the best university of agriculture in Nigeria, so I was opportune to learn a lot about fish farming. It was part of my project, and I remember sourcing for juvenile and setting them free in a pond.

Watching these beautiful creatures swim around their aquatic habitat was fulfilling. I could watch them all day, dropping feeds as they rush it with so much intensity.

But then again, they weren’t there for my entertainment but for making money. In the end, the fishes were supplied to wholesalers and retailers. The profit earned was mind-blogging.

The fact that fish is always on demand makes fish farming in Nigeria profitable. Almost every home cooks with fish every day. I prefer fish to meat due to the fishy taste it adds to my stew, including the nutritional value.

If you’ve been contemplating starting a fish farm here in Nigeria or anywhere in the world, rest assured that this agribusiness will turn your finance around.

The potentials therein are mouthwatering and could be your ticket to financial freedom. When you grow this farming business to a great height, you might not even need to involve yourself in the business’s day-to-day running.

That is because you will be able to afford workers who handle the ponds. Without wasting further time, this guide will help you start this lucrative fish farm.

Through fish farming, demands for fish are met, and employment created. It is a growing market with lots of potentials. Its target market is enormous, making it a feasible business idea that any agricultural enthusiast can start.

How To Start Fish Farming In Nigeria

How To Start Fish Farming In Nigeria

For someone interested in this lucrative farming venture, what are the steps to establish? Is there any unique tip that would help?

Before writing this guide, I didn’t rely on my knowledge or experience alone in fish farming. I went the extra mile to conduct my research and a few calls.

Based on the expert advice I received, I am confident that this article will, no doubt, help you to start this farming business successfully.

Here is a step by step guide on how to begin!

Cost Of Starting A Fish Farm

There is no fixed amount when it comes to starting fish farming in Nigeria, and estimates can be somewhat misleading.

Many factors will determine the cost of starting, like location, time, and how big you want to start.

Nevertheless, this estimate will give you an idea of how much is needed to kick-start this lucrative farming.

4 Trips of sand10,000 x 4#40,000
2 trips of gravel35,000 x 2#70,000
Plumbing works#100,000
Cost of treatment#70,000
Cost of high breed fingerlings30 X 5,000#300,000
100 bags of feeding#500,000
Fish Pond#50,000

Like previously stated, this is an estimated cost. It will vary depending on your location. A land in Lagos cost more compared to areas like Abia State, Ekiti or Enugu.

You must conduct market research to determine the price of all the materials you need and their cost. That way, you know what you’re getting into.

A Good Farm Location

A Good Farm Location

Before you start building your pond, you need to ensure that the location is good or end up with losses.

It is better to build your pond in a place with a gentle slope or beside, hillside. That way, it is easier to drain.

Building your pond in a place that is too low is not recommended, mainly due to flood. Also, you need to ensure that the pond is close to a good water supply unless you’re going to build a borehole.

Another factor to consider when choosing a good location for your fish pond is the soil quality.

A soil with too much sand or gravel will not hold water. Clay soil is the best since its water holding capacity is excellent.

Best Water For Your Fish Pond

Best Water For Your Fish Pond

Since water is vital when it comes to fish farming, you must ensure that it doesn’t have a bad smell or color.

The water that we consider perfect might be bad for the fishes, like the water treated by the government.

Just as we don’t joke with oxygen, you need to ensure you choose the right water for your fishes. That way, they can survive and grow.

If you’re operating a small scale fish pond, building a well will help. But a large scale operation will require a borehole.

Building Your Fish Pond

Building Your Fish Pond

You live in a house, right? Your fishes deserve shelter too, which brings us to fish ponds.

Choosing the ideal fish pond for your fish can be somewhat confusing since you have many options.

There are two main types of housing for your fish: a backyard tank and a pond.

The one you go for depends on your fish farm size and finance. The backyard plastic tank is best for fish farming on a small scale.

The pond, on the other hand, is excellent for a massive operation. Also, these fishes come in diverse sizes.

When building your fish pond, ensure that the environment is best for fish farming in Nigeria.

If not, that will be taking a risk you might not recover from. It’s always advisable to live close to your pond so that you can meet with emergencies on time.

I can recall how my uncle’s fish farming closed up. Unknowingly, there was an opening in the pond, and the water drained away.

Due to lack of water, the fishes died. It was a significant loss. It is part of the challenges of fish farming, and you can avoid such a disaster by living close by.

Choose The Right Species

Choose The Right Species

There are thousands of different species of fish, which means there are thousands of options.

If you want to make the right choice, monitor demand. The demand for particular species of fish will determine the fish you rear.

Catfish and Tilapia seem to be pretty hot in demand, and you will not regret the choice.

There are numerous other types but focus on these two when making an option. Aside from being a hot-selling specie, they grow pretty quick too.

When you discover the specie to deal on, go ahead and order for healthy juveniles.

There will be a few fish farmers in your locality sell fingerlings.

Visit them and ask as many questions as possible. They are always ready to indulge and engage you.

Get a reputable fish hatchery if you want the best.

The Right Fish Feeds

The Right Fish Feeds

It is my favorite aspect of fish farming, dropping their feed into the pond as they devour it without wasting time.

There are numerous of them, and they come in three types.

When you’re able to feed them with quality feeds, they will have no choice but to grow into a gigantic fish.

  1. Natural Fish Feed

These types of feeds are found naturally in the pond. They include bacteria, plankton, worms, insect, snails, aquatic plans, and even fellow fish.

A fish can eat other fishes if hungry, so try and avoid them by adequately feeding them.

  • Supplementary Feeds

These kinds of feeds often emerge from kitchen waste, agricultural byproducts, and other cheap material.

Just as the name applies, they act of supplements. However, it isn’t the best alternative for big fish farmers.

  • Complete Feed

This feed is produced primarily for fish consumption and usually jam-packed with nutrients and vital ingredients.

They are produced by experts who understand what fish needs to grow and function.

Since there are different stages in fish growth, there are also feeds for specific stages.

These stages are denoted by ‘mm.’ That’s why you see things like 1.8mm, 2mm feed, etc.

  • Fingerlings 3 – 4mm
  • Post fingerlings 4 – 6mm
  • Juvenile 6 – 10mm
  • Post juveniles – 10mm and above

Undergo A Train

Undergo A Train

Fish farming is a delicate operation, and there is a need to acquire training for the best experience.

There are many farms that you can visit and enroll as a trainee. They are ever ready to take in you, provided you’re hard-working and prepared to learn.

The reason for this training is to ensure you begin with confidence. Many people started fish farming in Nigeria without any guide, and yet they succeed.

You can do it, but training will give you so much edge when it comes to success.

How Profitable Is Fish Farming In Nigeria

How Profitable Is Fish Farming In Nigeria

The average weight of your fish is estimated to be 1.8kg, to be sold at #750 each. Out of 5000 fingerlings, only 4900 survived.

Do you know that some fish can reach more than 20kg? When I heard it, I couldn’t believe it until I did a quick Google search.

Let’s do the math based on the data we already have: #750 x 4900 = #3,675,000.

Imagine you’re able to rear about 10,000 fishes; you will be making over #7,500,000.

As I said, it is mind-boggling.

After conducting my research, I had no choice but to start drawling my fish farming business plan.

Oh Yes! I can’t just teach people how to start this business without reaping from the lucrative nature of fish farming in Nigeria.

Why Start Fish Farming In Nigeria?

Starting fish farming in Nigeria is one of the routes that will make you a millionaire. There are numerous reasons for this, and you will know them in this section.

1. High In Demand

The demand for fish is skyrocketing, making this agribusiness a goldmine. It is one of the business ideas that will make you a lot of profit when you begin.

2. Sells Quickly

Due to the high demand, selling of fish happens very quickly. When you have taken time to build your customer base, selling off your product won’t be a problem.

3. Matures Quickly

Another factor to consider when it comes to business is time. To reap your profit from this business, you don’t need to wait an eternity.

That is because fish mature pretty quickly. Before you know it, your fish is ready to hit the market.

4. No Environmental Hazard

If you care about our precious environment, rest assured that fish farming doesn’t harm it.

There is no pollution, noise, or foul smell. You have nothing to worry about when it comes to fish farming in Nigeria.

5. Easy To Manage

When you have gotten used to numerous of its activities, like draining the water, refilling the pond, feeding, and harvesting, you will understand that is isn’t that hard to run.

A fish farming business could be one of these businesses that are easy to run, without requiring specialized skills or qualifications.

Risk And Challenges In Fish Farming In Nigeria

Risk And Challenges In Fish Farming In Nigeria

1. Delicate Business

I told you a story about how my uncle lost his fishes because the water drained. That is one of the challenges, which means you will need to be very careful.

2. Capital Intensive

Many people want to start this business but can’t due to a lack of money. You will need at least #500,000 to begin on a small scale, provided you already have land for your pond.

3. No Byproduct

Unlike poultry farming, there are no byproducts when it comes to fish farming. That means you shouldn’t expect extra profit

Frequently Asked Questions On Fish Farming In Nigeria


1. Do I Do Marketing For My Fish Farming Business?

There are numerous ways to go about marketing your product, and one of them is direct contact.

Your target market includes hotels, restaurants, canteen, retailers, etc. You can visit their business complex and market your fish directly.

There are other marketing strategies that you can implore, which will help you build your customer base fast.

2. What Is The Most Profitable Fish To Farm?

The most profitable fish to a farm is catfish, compared to other types of fishes. Catfish are famous and high in demand. The cost is high, too, ensuring you make a lot in terms of profit.

3. How Long Does It Take A Catfish To Grow?

For a catfish to mature, you will need about 18 months to 2 years for a 1 pound catfish. An average catfish can weigh over 1 to 2 pounds.

4. Do I Need To Employ Workers?

It depends on how big your fish farm is. You can hire some workers if you don’t often have time due to work.

But as you grow, have in mind that hiring workers is inevitable. Unless you don’t want to grow, that will be an anomaly.

Over To You

Running fish farming in Nigeria is a lucrative farming venture that will change your life.

That is because the profit potentials in this business are mind-blowing.

One of the most common questions I often get is where to order for juveniles at low prices.

If you’re asking the same, drop a comment with your location, and a fish farmer closest to you will contact you.

If you have further questions regarding fish farming, drop a comment, and don’t forget to subscribe.    

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