From the beginning of time, many farmers have centered their agricultural production on peasant farming of food crops, a number of cash crops and domestic livestock farming. This subsistence method of farming is the basic and popular type of farming system in Nigeria. But, in recent time, Nigerian farmers have expanded their agricultural horizon into rearing of aquatic animals such as fishes.
Fish farming entails breeding of different varieties of fishes such as Catfish, Tilapia and Mackerel. Some fish farmers rear fishes for the purpose of sales and income generation while others engage in the practice solely for their basic family’s consumption.
For a largely agrarian economy like what we have in Nigeria, fish farming can generate significant domestic returns by facilitating employment, enhancing socio-economic status of the farmers as well as generating means of foreign exchange.
With the demand of fish being 1.5 million metric tonnes per annum with domestic production 511,700 metric tonnes, there has been obvious continuous need for expansion of fish farms in Nigeria. In reaction to this, in the timeline of year 2000 to date, the Nigerian government has shown interests in fish farming by carrying out related programmes and project to train and equip interested farmers and professionals with necessary knowledge and resources for fish farming. Some of such projects include Aqua-cultural and Inland Fishery Project (AIFP); National Accelerated Fish Production project (NAFPP); Fishing Terminal Projects (FTP); Fisheries Infrastructures Provision/Improvement (FIP) and the Presidental Initiative on Aquacultural (PIA).
However, till date, the result from this project and programmes have not exactly been met hence continuous increase in effort is required for Nigeria to increase private and public production of fishes. This implies that individuals who are interested in agriculture can get involved in the fish market and still have a good share of the market revenue.
In fish farming, regardless of the scale in which a farmer engages in it, there is the need for certain inputs to be put in place. These include; the pond which is to house fishes, water, fishes or fingerlings to raise, fish feed and chemicals for fertigation. Most especially for commercial fish farmers, proper care and provision of adequate input must be put in place for maximum profit to be made.
Also, entrepreneurial and marketing skills are important for fish farmers to succeed in the fish farming business. It is important to connect with professionals such as experts in Farm Republic for farmers to make maximum returns on their fish farm investment. Also, the Internet provides a variety of information about how to start Fish Farming. And although information on the internet might not be sufficient, it is a fair way to seek knowledge.
If you are still in doubt as to why you should start fish farm, here are four points that should convince you;
- Fish contains lean meat and is considered the healthiest animal protein with large quantity of good cholesterol
- Fish farming is a flexible system of farming that does not required long-term investments. You can start a fish farm behind your house, supplying the pond with water from the household supply.
- Growing fishes helps the world to conserve water.
- Fish farming when done with the engagement of expert’s knowledge and understanding can fetch 20-25% returns on investment.
If you desire to start your fish farm, reach out to us now at Farm Republic for necessary resources and guidance.