GFAR blog

YAP proposal #270: Fish Farming for Protein (Adewale Oluwole, Nigeria)

During one of the HarvestsMy 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.

Fish ponds on the farmEarthen 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]

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


This post is published as proposal #270 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
  • Support the post by clicking the “Like” button below (only possible for those with a com account)
  • Spread this post via your social media channels, using the hashtag: #GCARD3


Have a look at the other “YAP” proposals too!

As a donor, support young agripreneurs and sponsor this unique project.

Check out the side column for our current sponsors.
“YAP” is part of the #GCARD3 process, the third Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

154 thoughts on “YAP proposal #270: Fish Farming for Protein (Adewale Oluwole, Nigeria)”

    1. Beautiful work project wale, am really proud of you.there is no limit to prosperity from God. wale your best is yet to come.keep up the good work, God will enlarge your coast in Jesus Name.

  1. What is the proposed moisture content of the fish after smoking that will ensure it has a longer shelf life. You didn’t make mention of how you intend to check for the proposed moisture content. I suggest you add some herbs and spices during smoking as this helps to also extend the shelf life and reduce spoilage.

    1. Thanks Omoloa for your critical review. As we both understand that smoke drying of fish is a function of temperature and time, and cogent studies show that a moisture reduction of 15%-25% is required to prevent actions of spoilage organisms..such as moulds. Thereby the shelf life would increase while also ensuring the nutrients in the fish are not totally diminished. I also agree with you that spices and herbs could be added, that was why I mentioned in my text that variants of processed fish would be available for consumers to choice from. Thank you.

  2. Fantastic proposal. I really wish you clinch the price. I just got me some agriceductaion.

  3. This is a viable project worthy of investing in. The iniator has a good caption of what he intends to achieve and how to implement the action plan. I am impressed and feel like doing same

  4. Fish farming is one of the most lucrative businesses in Nigeria with all variables considered. I commend your work and ideas. Fish farming is also about expansion from fingerlines to juvenile then to adulthood. Its also about sourcing locally made food all. All the best in your endeavour.

  5. Very good business proposal and a great idea, good use of land…u have been able to educate me after reading about your business plans, your business is worth investing into so as to help in the growth of your small scale business and also help in the increase of production in fish farming in our country which is of large population. I pray you get the grant, I wish u all the best in your business plans.

    1. Hello, the best case scenario in terms of increase in profit margin is boosted by 2 parameters

      1) having fishes that are lager than the benchmark 1kg…in good cases you may have fishes weighing 1.2kg, 1.5kg and above, so that jacks up average weight of fishes in your pond. For example, In my proposal I used 3000kg…so that may increase to 3500kg, 4000kg and more, thereby increasing profit.

      2) the price at which you sell per kilo(kg), also boost profit, I chose the lesser selling price of 430…in some areas price ranges from 400-550, so that is a factor hinged upon your location.

      Hope I was able to enlighten you. Have a blessed day thanks.

  6. This is a very good venture. I am particularly happy that young people are actively involve in Agric. I am so much happy. I believe success will come your way in all ways.

  7. The contents in this article should be sold not published for free this must have required a very indepth research.. you will not imagine the number of people reading this proposal who will from this moment onward start contemplating fish farming..this expo is just too detailed..Kudos bro

  8. Great keep it up. I am in to the same thing but with concrete ponds. Capital is always the major issue. Godspeed

  9. ThIs is a very nice fish farm project…I’ll like to do something like this and would require some assistance..Great job!!!👍

  10. I have been lucky to experience this project first hand,and I have seen the project grow day by day,I have to say with his ‘modern’ ideas and techniques,that easily gives him the edge amongst his pair’s. Great job bro.

  11. Wow. You seem very well versed in fish farming. I feel like I just went to school.

    I didn’t realize the public health benefit that comes with creating the pond, because a drainage system is created. Win-Win situation for the community.
    Great job!

    1. Thank you Chi Chi, I’m glad you learnt one or two things. Positives are actually more…it is also beneficial to the fishes as it is similar to there natural habitat, and we tend to use very minimal vaccines/medications. So its definitely a win-win-win… Situation, for me,the fishes, the community and Nigeria at large.

  12. Although I’ve never done fish farming, I’ve did a little bit of livestock farming growing up and I can say authoritatively that if your indices are right, it could be more profitable considering your displayed know-how and the recent surge in demand for point-and-kill.

    You deserved the support you need and I hope you’ll get it.

  13. Nice Business proposal, I had no knowledge about fish farming but after this piece I am going to learn more. Great way to help employ people and make the fish business sustainable. Well done Mr Wale.

  14. Thank you for the shareof insight. For a while I have been trying to get friends interested in fish farming business so as to set one up and running. I appreciate this your piece of work. Will contact you soonest.

    Best Regards

  15. Excellent! I know that this business will be a great international success! It’s awesome to have such a phenomenal vision for your industry! My prayers are with you for you proposal!

  16. Good work man, an articulated article from someone who knows what he want and doing everything possible to make it happen… All the very best to you wale even in the worst scenario of you not winning this. you have your future in your hand and you can mould it the way you want it
    God bless you and bless your hustle #thumbsup #riseaboveallobstacle

  17. This is a money spinning project, I pray you get the necessary  capital to carryout the project

    1. Hi Fausat, the profit margin is very achievable, and remember the values presented in the proposal is the minimum profit one can achieve with the set parameters in this project. So I can categorically state that the profit matin is very achievable. So if you’re interested in starting one, please do. Thanks

  18. Fish farming is a nice business, I like to do something soonest, thanks for the information provided in your proposal, now I can start. Good work Adewale

  19. I can’t believe this is free to read, this information and ideas are usually sold! I salute you Adewale, good work.

  20. Luckily for me,i have visited this farm before..i have seen you do all the work yourself from feeding the fishes to weeding the pond, am certain that you deserve this grant.
    Brilliant and simple break down!👌

  21. Great idea , more of this type of intelligent ideas will help a lot of people not to be dependent.

  22. Great idea , more of this type of intelligent ideas will help a lot of people not to be dependent.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s