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How To Start Small Scale Catfish Farming in Nigeria

Catfish farming in Nigeria is a good business idea one can execute and make a good profit out of it. Generally, farming in Nigeria brings in good return if one can understand the techniques behind them.  And this is the reason why fish farming techniques are very important to any success one can record in the business.

In this article I will take you through fish farming techniques, cost of fish farming for small-scale catfish farming, and cost of feeding fish especially catfish in Nigeria.

One of the reasons why rearing of catfish is popular in Nigeria is because of its high quality of protein and its role in boosting vitamins intake.


How to start catfish farming business

The first thing you need to consider is whether you want to use earthen pond or concrete pond or tank for your fish farming. For instance, when I started my catfish farming I used a tank. And the reason is to experiment and gain knowledge about the business. Any of them has advantages and disadvantages and your choice may depend on the number of fingerlings you want to rear.

Note: if you want to use earth pond, make sure it has at least three or more feet of water depth to ensure your catfish grows well. If you are using a tank or concrete, make sure you do change your water every three days. The mode of water discharge should be part of your concrete pond or tank pond.


The choice of where you want to rear you catfish must depend on the security of the area.


If you want to start from fingerlings (they are normally four weeks old and their current price N10 for one unit), it will take you up to fourteen weeks of daily feeding for them to get to smoking size. Whereby, a post fingerlings (they are normally six weeks old and their current price is N15 for one unit), it will take you up to thirteen weeks of daily feeding for them to get to smoking size.

Break down of how you feed your catfish

  • Start with 0.5mm for one week with Durante or Coppens and the price is N6, 500 for 5kg. this can feed 2500 fingerlings for one week
  • Move to 0.7mm for one to two weeks
  • 2mm for two to three weeks or even one month
  • 3mm to 4mm for the remaining weeks

Some people like to give their fish local feed once they get to six weeks. The local feed is made of maggot and hatchery waste. The hatchery waste must be boiled before given to the fish. This method is used to reduce the cost of fish farming.

One thing you should be mindful of in this business is to ensure your mortality rate is low. The high mortality rate has been identified as the reason why many farmers incur losses in this business. Once you can keep a check, you are on your way to success.

Lastly, some people are curious to know how much it cost to start a fish farm. It depends on the number of fish you want to rear and the kind of pond you want to use. If it is a fish farming at home i.e. just for you and your family to consume, it can cost you more than N25,000 if otherwise, you can get as low as N50,000 to start a small-scale fish farming.

Small scale fish farming business plan (500 Fingerlings)

Tank pond – N20,000

Fingerlings – 500 x N15 = N7,500

Feeding – N15,000

Miscelleneous – N5,000

Total = N47, 000


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