GFAR blog

YAP Proposal #226: High quality dried fish (Ngozi Onyendi, Nigeria)


Who we are

My name is Onyendi Chituru Ngozi. I am a 26-year-old female from Nigeria and have always had the passion to make a significant change in agriculture. I am the coordinator of a group of four members adding value to catfish production. We are university graduates and have come together as a result of our passion for agriculture and desire to empower ourselves and encourage rural youth involvement in agribusiness.

Why dried fish?

A few months ago we realised that most individuals get discouraged from purchasing fresh catfish because, if not prepared immediately, it gets spoiled due to lack of proper storage. As a result there is always waste of fresh catfish from the fish farm.

Furthermore, the locally dried fish sold in the open market is poorly processed and not properly dried. As such it cannot be stored for long. We have also discovered that poor families cannot afford to buy meat due to its high cost, so there is a high level of malnutrition.

OnyendiNgoziOur group decided to engage in full-scale production and distribution of high quality dried catfish so as to generate income to gainfully employ at least 5 people and enter the market in major parts of Nigeria, with plans to expand to other countries.

Our goals are to upgrade the value addition process for catfish production in rural areas where there is a high level of contamination resulting from traditional methods of drying (by smoking). We also want to educate the rural youth on the profitability of agriculture and provide market linkages from farms to processed foods to market for quick returns and productivity.

Our success story has been the high level of awareness and acceptability of our product fish by both the local women and high class grocery stores. This success is due to our product’s reasonably low cost and high standard of quality.

The group is gradually achieving its goals, but on average our supply quotas have not been met. This problem could be traced to insufficient man power, fish supply or the financial capacity to reach out to a larger populace through advertisement. That is why we need to expand!

Strategy implementation

Currently, we are limited to processing about 20 kg of catfish per week due to unavailability of a standard processing centre. To meet our goals, we must process at least one ton of fresh catfish per month. This would be possible through the use of a smoking kiln for standard processing, not using wood as with the poorly processed dried fish mentioned above.

Next we will reach out to local markets, urban supermarkets and other distributors within and outside Nigeria. The product will be packaged in such a way that it is attractive and affordable for all levels of income.

We will promote and create awareness of the high quality dried catfish we are selling through information and communication technologies and one-on-one meetings. We will also negotiate with local market women, hotels, restaurants and supermarket owners for the distribution and sale of the packaged, high-quality dried fish.

We will engage rural youth and women to be productive in the agricultural value chain through becoming distributors, giving them a 10% discount for every sale of the packaged dried catfish. This scheme will help them to be financially independent.

We will establish market linkages for fresh fish farmers to reduce waste and increase production and consumption of nutrient-dense fish.

Budget summary

The quantity of fresh catfish processed will be steadily increased from 80 kg to 100 kg, 120 kg and 160 kg weekly for the first, second, third and fourth quarters, respectively.
We will thus invest a total amount of $3,100, which is 64% of the funds, on production in the first quarter. This would be re-invested for the subsequent quarters.
About 10.3% of the fund will account for the part of the capital costs that will include purchase of the smoking kiln and sealing machine.
24% will account for the salary of two personnel, to be doubled by the fourth quarter.
3.7% of the fund will be invested in the promotional items.

In conclusion, by implementing this strategy we envision youth and women’s empowerment, wealth creation, food conservation and rural development.

Blogpost and picture submitted by Ngozi Onyendi (Nigeria) – onyendichituru[at]

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

This post is published as proposal #226 of “YAP” – our “Youth Agripreneur Project”.

The first selection of the winners will be based on the number of comments, likes and views each proposal gets.

As a reader, you can support this speaker’s entry:

  • Leave a comment (question, suggestion,..) on this project in the comment field at the bottom of this page
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Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!
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“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

50 thoughts on “YAP Proposal #226: High quality dried fish (Ngozi Onyendi, Nigeria)”

  1. this is a laudable project, my uncle is in this business and he cannot meet his demand for dried fish in nigeria alone couple with export market opportunities. i have been looking forward to this kind of entry and i believe it worth investing in while taking advantage of the readily available market.

  2. This is extremely good..Nigeria faces a serious threat to food security if the agricultural
    sector does not find innovative ways to engage the youths.. then will have long way to go.

  3. Proper food preservation is an essential ground pillar for food security.Please help save the world from hunger and malnutrition..kudos to ma sis. PPRO UDS OF YOU. Vote Ngozi #Africa4Her

  4. This is a wonderful project if funded. It will not generate employment for the youths, it will also shore up our battered economy. What a great business to delve into now and rake lots of cash. Please fund it to put nutritious foods on the table of the larger society that shall reap from its dividends.

  5. This is a very good initiative here… I salute your passion for agriculture and I wish you the very best

  6. thank you @ngglyrics and @medalzwordpre yes that is very true…youths and women should be encouraged to venture into this agribusiness to ensure sustainability in agriculture.

  7. just a nice business to invest in, atleast it will create employment opportunity, income and fresh fish waste management .. nice proposal

  8. This is quite impressive…Agriculture is the future…with proper logistics and modern implementation the future right within us…once again really impressive

  9. Catfish processing is a viable agribusiness venture that can adequately employ and empower youths.

    1. @Dogara thank you for your support, the equipment as seen in the picture is called smoking klin. To have a better understanding of the operations I suggest you seek further enquiries.

  10. A very laudable initiative. I see that its not just about dried fish. Its about High Quality Dried Fish. This will help boost healthy living, increase protein consumption and also grow into job and wealth creation. Go Ngozi!

  11. Nice initiative….very good solution to the present day problem of fish processing. Keep it up.

  12. This is one project which hopes to challenge the shelf life of cat fish and make it more marketable… I love this bold move of yours and hope it succeeds

  13. I quote “passion for agriculture and desire to empower ourselves and encourage rural youth involvement in agribusiness”, this is lovely and interesting. Wish you and team all the best, there is no little challenge in making an impact either locally or globally. Be focus and prepared.

  14. great deal with the environment in relation to fish production in Nigeria … love the idea

  15. @victor thank you, and yes the enterprise can employ up to 10 people. From the way the budget is planned we can employ additional two people at beginning of the first quarter and subsequently additional two people will be employed the end of each quarter.

  16. @ngglyrics the local use of wood for the fish drying process contaminates the fish with carbon which is a major cancer causing agent. This is why we are advocating for high quality method of drying by the use of smoking klin. This eliminates exposing the fishes to smoke from wood.

  17. It is factual that Agricultulture is the key that will unlock job opportunities for the youth in Nigeria.
    Good approach.
    Kudos to Ngozi.
    I wish you success.

  18. WOW! “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the economy” This is a very brilliant idea,it is the transformation! Go girl!

  19. These people are really wonderful, implementing this preservative process in ensuring proper delivery of catfish as an agricultural produce. The Federal government and other bodies really need to support these youths….

  20. I appreciate the fact that the project will also focus on helping other youth to access the market by though your linkage scheme. the major problems most youth have with agriculture is inability to access the market or how to go about introducing there products to the market. i hope you are chosen so that the link between agriculture producers and the market will be strengthen and formalised

  21. This is a great initiative, I sincerely hope this entice more youth into the agricultural industry

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