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[Fish Business] How to Start Fish Farming In Nigeria

Did you know that Fish farming in Nigeria is one hot business that could earn you some cool cash? More than 1 billion people rely on fish as their primary source of protein.

In fact, global fish exportation now earns more money per year than any other food commodity. Believe it or not, fish farming in Nigeria is a huge source of profit in the agricultural world.

You can start fish farming in small scale for fulfilling your daily needs, family demands or for earning some extra cash with your regular income.

A lot of people consume fish and fish products, and this is why fish business could be extremely profitable. It is no doubt one of the top business ideas to start in Nigeria.

Now, if you want to enter into fish farming business, or you are already into this business and looking for new tips on how to improve it, then you’re in the right place.

In this article, we will tell you more about fish farming in Nigeria. 

What Is Fish Farming In Nigeria?

Fish farming also known as aquaculture is the practice of raising fish in man-made ponds or tanks for human consumption.

cat fish farming in Nigeria business idea

Fish farming is the most common type of aqua farming, and it is quite popular in Nigeria. Let’s do some quick analysis.

Profitability of Catfish Farming in Nigeria

From all the fish species, catfish farming has a great market demand in Nigeria. Hotels, Beer parlors, Pepper soup joints are ordering cat fish in large quantities and making lots of money from it.

The African catfish is delicious, nutritious and grows pretty fast. One amazing thing about catfish is that they can live without water for two days, breathing the usual air, and they are also resistant to diseases

Anyone can start catfish farming in a pond at home, in closed water supply installations, aquariums or in barrels.

The period of growth of juveniles to commercial fish is only 6 months. Sort the fish according to the size to ensure equal competitive environment for food and space.

Quick Analysis of Expenditure and Cost Value of Cat Fish farming

Pond rentage for six months (for 1,000 juveniles) = #30,000;

Pond preparation is about #50,000;

Netting is about #4,000;

Procurement of juveniles #20,000

You need about #200,000 to feed 1000 pieces of catfish from juvenile to table size in 15 weeks

Security (optional) (assume #1,000 monthly for five months) is about #5,000;

Cost of pills (optional) is about #2,000;

Total= #311,000

So, if you already own a land, with about N350, 000 or less, you can buy 1,000 juvelines thus, you can expect a total of 900 table size at the end 5th month, due to possible death rate.

Fish farming business - fish pond - fish container

If sell at average of #800 each depending on the weight, at the end of 5th month, you will end up with over #700,000. Your profit margin will depend on how much you have spent on feeding and health care.

At times, getting market for your cat fishes could be the most difficult aspect of this business. It’s sometimes frustrating to start looking for buyers when your fishes are ready for sale.

So it is advisable, that farmers should have markets in mind at the stage of production. Smoking or drying the catfish is another great way of making money from the business. People love smoked fish because of its taste.

You can also learn how to start other amazing business ideas such as goat farming business in Nigeria, Pig rearing business in Nigeria and more on our website.

Steps On How to Start Fish Farming in Nigeria

What do you need to start your own fish farming in Nigeria? For setting up profitable fish farming business in Nigeria, you have to go through some procedures.

I have shortly described various steps of fish farming in Nigeria.

Secure a Good Land

The land could be in any location. Calculate your budget and search for a land accordingly to your finances.

As a beginner, you can start by leasing or renting ponds, after which you can invest on your own land.

Pond Planning

The most important infrastructure of fish farming business is a pond. The ponds can be made of concrete, tarpaulin, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Plastic containers and one square metre of net.

Before stocking juveniles in the pond, prepare it properly. Clean the bottom of the pond perfectly and then fertilize it. Optimize the pH value of pond water and soil.

Fish pond with cat fish juveniles - how to start fish farming in nigeria

High quality pond environment ensure high production and profit. Remember that chemically treated and rainwater can’t be used. You need to provide a steady flow of fresh water for the development of your business.

Selecting Fish Species

Fingerlings are Catfish aged 0 to 4 weeks while juveniles Catfish aged 4 to 8 weeks.

While selecting fish breeds consider some factors like market demand of fish, maintaining facilities, natural facilities for fish farming, great source of sufficient amount of water, effective utilization of resources and some other factors.

Always try to raise the fish breeds that are suitable for your area. For proper utilization of pond and water resources you can raise numerous fish breeds together.

You can get your fishes from some other farm, which specializes in them. Go for the high-yield catfish or tilapia species. Make sure you purchase from a healthy and reliable source.


Good and high quality fish feed can maximize the overall production. Most of the farmer in our country depend on natural feeds of pond.

For commercial fish farming production in Nigeria, you have to provide the fishes high quality and nutritious food.

You can go for floating or sinking feed, (sinking feed is usually bigger, and longer, than floating feed. feed your fishes once or twice a day based on the peculiarity of your farm. 

Make sure you stop feeding when you discover uncontrolled mortality on your ponds.

Care & Management

Along with good pond environment and high quality feeding, you also have to take good care of your fish. 

Always test the PH level of water. Pond water with PH level 7 to 8 is best for suitable fish farming. Always take necessary steps against various types of fish diseases.

Be ready to change the water regularly, this will reduce the level of diseases rate and improve the longevity of fish. Change the water every 2 or 3 days.


The main facility of commercial fish farming in Nigeria is that you can easily sell your products in proper price.

Most of the Nigerian fish farmer used to sell their products in nearest local market. You can ensure more profit by exporting the fish to foreign countries.

Interested in raising Tilapia fishes?

Quick Tips on Tilapia Farming In Nigeria

Tilapia is one of the most popular fishes species. Tilapia is very versatile and is tolerant of a variety of aquaculture environments, it can be farmed in brackish or salt water and also in pond or cage systems.

Cat fish farming business

Temperatures around 25ºc are most favourable for tilapia fishes.

The best hatchery practice of tilapia fish is to stock one male to three females. In order to prevent the females from incubating their eggs orally, the eggs should be removed.

This allows for better control of hatching and allows for the female to produce the next batch of eggs.

Tilapia fish are very adaptable and can survive even in poor-quality water or overcrowded conditions. They grow quickly, so they are a popular choice for farming.

Advantages of Fish Farming in Nigeria

The following are great advantages of fish farming business in Nigeria:

Creation of Employment

Fish farming in Nigeria is such a business that is always scalable. Demand of fish is increasing in accordance with population growth and the demand will increase even more.

A big or medium size fish business would require workers to handle several parts of the business.

Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids that assist in brain function, normal development and reduces the risks of heart diseases.

Easy to maintain

Fish farms can be set up almost anywhere with clean water supply and a large water body. In this regard, if properly managed, fish farming is commercially profitable due to low running costs.

At this point, it is important to know that for every business opportunity comes risks and challenges to consider.

The Challenges of fish farming

  • Poor pond design: Bad quality of pond can lead to the leakages and this can result in shortage
  • Lack of experience: This is a widespread reason for failure in this business, so communicate more with experienced farmers.

Also Read: 8 practical steps to avoid business failure

  • Expensive to Set Up: The initial setup costs for fish farming in Nigeria may be expensive due to the need to install fish cages, hatcheries and provision of processed fish food.

Fish farming in ponds requires costly excavations and channeling of river water in and out of the fish ponds.

  • Disease: Keeping fishes in close proximity increases the chances of disease. If a fish gets sick with a contagious virus, it’s likely to transfer to other fishes.

Fish Farming Business Plan Sample

Want to know how to write a fish farming business plan? Check out this catfish farming business plan template.

Fish Farming in Nigeria (Conclusion)

We really hope you found this article informative, if you are confident that fish farming in Nigeria will work for you, it is important that you never lose sight of your big dream.

One of the unique things about the fish farming trade is that you have the opportunity to keep fishes and watch them grow from tiny to big enough to be traded with.

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