Some of us love eating fish so much that we joke about starting a fish farm just so we are able to indulge ourselves every day. But jokes aside, do you know the people who provide the fish are empowering themselves financially via our love for consuming this aquatic animal? Mrs CEO Naija tells us how!
Exposed! How To Make N200k Profit In 4 – 5 Months With Fish Farming
With 170 million Nigerians who need to eat, the demand for fish consumption is high!
Imagine if 170 million Nigerians eat 1 fish a month! That is 170million x 12!! Okay, babies cannot eat fresh fish but you get the idea! For this fish farm edition, we’ve dug out the secrets of the trade from an experienced Fish ‘Farm-preneur’. So you can take whatever you read here to the bank! Sit back, learn and most importantly, take action!
MCN: Can we meet you?
Ese Utomi: My Name is Mrs Ese Utomi. I run a cat-fish farm in Lagos, the brand name is Nutri-fish. We sell both the fresh and the smoked ones.
MCN: What motivated you to start the fish farm?
EU: Initially, the main business I focused on was retail. However, with the devaluation of the Naira in the last one year, I decided to do a business where I am more in control of the variables. With retailing, there are many elements outside my control such as devaluation, customs, clearing and so on. With fish farming, I am not totally in control but I have less surprises.
MCN: How do you care for the fishes?
EU: First is Feeding: you need to feed the fish 2-3 times daily. When they are fingerlings, they need to eat 3-4 times daily.
Water change: I prefer to change the water daily to prevent bad smell. The plastic tank is designed in such a way that it is easy to let in and get out water.
Sorting: I sort every week. Worst case, every 2 weeks. This is simply a process whereby fishes of similar sizes are grouped and moved to the same tank. If you leave them all together, they attack each other. When I get the new fingerlings, a 2,000 Liter tank can take up to 1,000 fingerlings, however after 2-3 weeks, they get bigger and you need to separate them into about 300 fishes into a tank. So with 3 tanks, you can raise 1,000 fishes and constantly sort them into similar sizes every 2 weeks. With the right technique, you can sort 1,000 fishes in just one hour. It is part of the training we give. The fishes get to table size- 1kg after about 4-5 months and are ready for consumption at this period. Some farmers sell them at about 700g to those that need them in that size. (mostly pepper soup restaurants).
Drugs: Just like many other animals, the fishes need their vitamins. Then, If there is any disease /infection, they need drugs. I get my drugs from a professor that specialized in fisheries. The good thing is you can easily notice if a fish is ill if you sort weekly. This is because their skin color changes. When I identify a sick fish, I isolate immediately in a bowl until treatment is completed. This is also another topic I train on when I coach new farmers.
MCN: Let’s talk about the money…How profitable is this business?
EU: Well, I’ll come out straight on it; you can start this business with N250, 000. This excludes the space and water of course.
• So you buy each fingerling for N15-20. Assuming you buy 1,000, this is N20, 000.
• You need 3 tanks, each tank is about N36,000 so x 3= approx. N110,000. There are some more expensive tank brands like JP but it is also better quality too.
• You’ll buy feed. 5kg is about N6, 000 and you’ll need a couple of bags until they are ready for sales at 5 months.
• You’ll pay yourself a salary if you are the one directly caring for them daily or you pay a staff. For a start up, I advise you manage it yourself. Also, you can start with fresh fish only to postpone the cost of smoking the fish and the labour needed for it.
• In all, let’s summarize it: you buy each fingerling for N20, you feed and care for it with N250. Total cost per fish at N270. You can sell each fish for about N450 if it reaches the 1kg table size.
• If you sell each fish for N450, you have made N180 profit per fish. This is N180, 000 on 1,000 fishes. Infact, you can sell up to N500 if they are the real big ones.
In all you invest N250,000 to make N200,000. If you invest N100,000 you make N80,000. This is all based on good management and care please. – Mrs Ese Utomi
For a small farmer, you can start with 300 fishes so you only need to buy one tank and your start- up cost is much lower too – about N80, 000. You can also manage it yourself versus getting a staff but you must have time to take care of the fishes.
We’ve come to the end of the episode 1 of our interview. Episode 2 will cover the challenges that can affect this juicy business and more importantly, how to sell the fishes. Do you have any comments, questions or training needs? Drop a comment below!
MrsCEOnaija.com, a distinct female-centric blog, centers on women empowerment with the aim of building financially empowered females for more balanced homes and community.
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