My name is Adewale Oluwole, 30, from the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I have a degree in animal production and health and another in food science. I own a small-to-medium-scale agribusiness, Deluxe Agro-Allied Enterprises, based in Lagos. I do business in agricultural farming.
This project is based on ‘Fish Farming, A source of animal protein to the Nigerian populace’. I have been doing business in commercial fish farming and other animal husbandry for a while now. The objective of the fish farm is to produce fish all-year round, to supply markets at a competitive price and make profit.
The farm is set up to be self-sufficient, employing good agricultural practices alongside new innovative technology to improve fish production in Nigeria. Also reducing wastage and increasing shelflife of fish by carrying out medium-scale processing and storage techniques, to meet market demands all year round.
Fish farming is an important source of both food and income to many people in developing countries including Nigeria. Nigeria is the largest African aquaculture producer, with an annual production output of 15,489 tonnes/year. Even with this huge output, the demand for fish in Nigeria is far from being met due to increase in her population and the market price is on the increase.
In Nigeria, catfish rearing is a proven lucrative business, due to the high demand for catfish, also popularly referred to as ‘Fresh Fish’ by the ever-growing Nigerian population; it is also deemed as a cheap and healthy source of animal protein.
The site for the fish farm is a waterlogged landed area in Baga village in Ikorodu LGA, Lagos state. It is a dedicated site for fish farming.
The advantage of the area includes good soil air, allowing for good oxygen availability for fish respiration and growth, and good water-holding capacity, which is due to the good clay content of the soil in the area.
It can hold water and the soil allows for proper draining of excess water. Location of basic amenities allowing easy access to water, feed mill, and easy access to the market. (Buyers come to the Farm to Purchase the fish in bulk quantity.)
I will be carrying out grow-out pond operation using earthen ponds, which involves nurturing of fingerlings, post-fingerlings or juveniles for four to five months to table size (1vkg and above), suitable for sale and consumption.
Earthen ponds with a flow-through system are been used. They are constructed by excavating the soil and the walls are bagged, for proper draining and conservation of water.
Three ponds are currently constructed on my purchased farmland. The pond dimension and capacity is as follows: Pond A – 20 ft x 25 ft (1,200 pcs), Pond B – 25 ft X 30 ft (1,500 pcs), Pond C – 40 ft X 40 ft (2,000 pcs).
So the farm’s stocking capacity is approximately 4,500 pieces of juvenile catfish/cycle. But currently we operate at a stocking capacity of 2,000 pieces of juvenile catfish due to insufficient capital.
The grant of $5,000 will be used to maximize and expand the fish farm production, purchase necessary fixed farm inputs, employ human labour to aid production.
A breakdown of the capital outlay is as follows:
- Construction of another pond (30ft X 40ft X 1.5ft) – #80,000 or $381
- Digging a borehole and water storage facility – #100,000 or $476
- Water pump machine – #30,000 or $143
- Power generating set (2–3 KVA) – #75,000 or $357
- Juvenile catfish 4,000 pieces (for stocking in ponds) – #90,000 or $429
- Fish feed for the period of four months – #600,000 or $2,857
- Salary (2 staffs) and farm consumables (four Months) – #90,000 or $429
** # – Nigerian Naira, $ – US Dollars
The total estimated cost of production for rearing 4,000 pieces of juvenile catfish to table size and the cost of newly added fixed inputs mentioned above sums up to #1,065,000 or $5,072 (cost of production).
The fish farm is profitable and can generate a good margin of profit in a year. The farm rears the catfish in grow-out ponds for a period of four months and a sales forecast can be made as the price range for the table-sized catfish (1 kg).
So in a calendar year, three cycles of rearing are possible.
The price of 1kg of Catfish ranges from 430–460 Naira (#) or 2.05-2.08 Dollars ($); So if 4000 pieces is stocked, the profit margin can be calculated by
- Assuming 3,000 pieces reach 1 kg (3,000 X 430) = #1,290,000 or $6,143 (selling price)
- So first cycle profit margin is; #1,290,000 – #1,065,000 = #225,000 or $1,071
Note: The calculation is proposed based on worst case scenario and the profit margin can be more than the figure stated. The profit margin for the first cycle is relatively low because of the added cost of the fixed inputs.
The profit margin increases in subsequent cycles, due to no added cost of fixed inputs. All things being equal, the farm can generate $6,000–9,000 profit yearly.
If the needed capital to execute the project is available the time frame for setting up and completion of the fixed inputs and ready for stocking is 2–4 weeks.
Excellent pond preparation will be done at the start of culturing, as this is what ensures good health of fishes and water quality which results in a good yield; adequate feed and medications will be administered for good growth of fishes.
After a period of two years a fish kiln and other processing equipment will be purchased from the internally generated revenue. So, to venture into fish processing and smoking, this will not only ensure fish availability all year round by extending shelf life, it also gives variations for consumer choices.
The socioeconomic impact of the fish farm to the host community is huge, as it provides employment to youths of the community as casual workers. They will be employed to carry out some basic operations such as pond preparation, fish sorting, and harvesting, etc.
It also helps in maximizing the use of the waterlogged lands for productive purposes, also proper drainages are constructed to help drain away stagnant water and prevent breeding of disease vectors and flies, which might affect the health of the members of the community.
The fish farm project is equally important to me as it helps me fulfil my goal of inputting my quota to providing food for the Nigerian populace. It also improves my livelihood and helps me generate revenue.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Adewale Oluwole (NIgeria): adewaleoluwole[at]live.co.uk
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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