Fish Farming In Nigeria.

Thousands of people have joined the agricultural industry because of it’s lucrative and profitable features.

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This is because agriculture plays a very vital role in economic development in Nigeria.

In Nigeria fish farming has non arguably become one of the most lucrative and profitable farming practices. A well managed and invested fish farm can earn you an estimate of 2-3 million within four months.

The high demand of fish in Nigeria has forced entrepreneurs to venture into fish farming business. In Nigeria, fishes like Catfish, Tilapia, mackerel are highly consumed, that’s why these fishes are mainly in every fish farm you will ever visit in Nigeria.

Another good thing about fish farming in Nigeria is because it is officially support by the government that makes this business one of the most successful business in Nigeria.

Because of it’s lucrative nature, fish farming attracts investors into the country. Asides being a profitable business in Nigeria, Fish farming is capital intensive.

You can make a huge profit by going into fish farming business. With proper management skills this business can be runned successfully and watch it grow and expand into multi-level business within a short time.

Why Is Fish Farming So Lucrative And Profitable?

The high demand of fish in Nigeria has made fish farming in Nigeria very lucrative and profitable.

This is because Nigerians consume 3.2 million tonnes of fish annually. This was announced by Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency, NABDA, Lucy Ogbadu, at the graduation ceremony of 38 females who received training on fish spawning and breeding in Kano.

With the total annual demand of an estimate of 2.7 million metric tonnes of fish every year.

The high demand and consumption of fish in Nigeria has made fish farming very popular, lucrative and very profitable.

According to Eunice Akponimisingha, she said Catfish farming gives her N200,000 every month while staying at home to operate the business.

She said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

This were her words:

“I can’t really tell you the exact money I make in a month, as my profit depends on my harvest. However, through catfish farming, I make a net profit of over N200,000 in a month, which makes me more comfortable than most civil servants.

“Sometimes, the money is more and at other times it is within the range of N200,000. Catfish farming has really made me comfortable because the market is readily available.

“After rearing the fish for six months, I bake the fishes in my oven because most of my customers prefer dried fish to the fresh one.

“Many people have a preference for dried catfish because it can be used for any meal; especially soups,’’ she said.

“I was motivated to go into catfish farming because its start-up capital is not too expensive, while the returns and market are quite huge,’’.

She further said that cat fish was the only Species of fish she breds, because it was easy to get the fingerlings.

Source: Premiumtimesng

This is to give you some proof on how lucrative and profitable fish farming is.

In Nigeria fish farming, catfish are the most reared Species of fish because of it’s high demand in preparing some sweet palatable dishes. Especially cat fish pepper soup, catfish stew, baked catfish and the rest of them.

In Nigeria fish farming, alot of farmers don’t take much interest in Tilapia. They prefer rearing catfish because of it’s high demand in consumption in Nigeria.

But if you should have interest in rearing tilapia fish, then why not give it a try?. Although, catfish is mostly consumed in Nigeria, that does not mean their is no market demand for Tilapia fish. If you happen to choose Tilapia fish over cashfish you won’t loose a thing.

In Nigeria, Tilapia fish farming is booming because of it’s richness in Omega-3 and low in fats. Tilapia fish also contains rich amount of Carbohydrates Phosphorus; Magnesium, Calcium, Dietary Fiber, Sugar Saturated Fats, Vitamins, and Proteins.

While choosing Tilapia fish, the best type and the most popular kind for Nigeria are the Nile Tilapia and Blue Tilapia. These types are native to Nigeria and can be easy to rear.

Another popular fish mostly reared and consumed in Nigeria is mackerel.

Mackerel fish (Titus) has it’s own genuine taste, which makes it one of the most consumed fish in Nigeria.

With height of consumption and demand for the above mentioned fishes in Nigeria will draw you to concluded reasons why rearing either of these fishes will fetch you more and more revenue (money).

What Types Of Fish Species Should I Farm?

In Nigeria fish farming the 3 most reared Species of fish are:
Catfish Farming
Tilapia Farming
Mackerel (Titus) Farming.



Catfish is the most cultivated species of fish in Nigeria fish farming. This is because of it’s high demand and consumption.

Many fish farmers in Nigeria prefers catfish farming because the fingerling are always easy to get, and also because of it’s ease in rearing.

In Nigeria fish farming, Catfish are quite very easy to rear, as it has no complications and difficulties, unlike Mackerel (Titus) species of fish, which needs to be kept in salt water on a moderate level in other to survive.

Cost of each fingerlings of catfish is ₦20 – ₦30 (between 6 and 10 grams)

Tilapia Fish.

This is the second most popular and consumed fish in Nigeria.

In fish farming business in Nigeria Tilapia has become one of the most reared fish after catfish, because of it’s rapid reproduction rate and and fast growth. This makes it more profitable and very easier to rear.


Tilapia species of fish which lives in a fresh shallow water is very popular in Nigeria’s market, and mostly consumed by Nigerians.

Each fingerlings of Tilapia fish costs ₦20 and must not exceed ₦30.

Mackerel Fish.


Mackerel a wild caught fish, popularly known as Titus is the most consumed and highly demanded fish in Nigeria, but sadly enough it’s not farmed.

Why is this?

Mackerel is a saltwater fish and if replicated saltwater ponds are maintained, then, farming mackerel will work but it will be too difficult and tasking as salt will be a major expense after feeding.

Salt must be constantly added to the pond and also levels must be maintained, if the salt is too much the fish will die and that will be an expensive mistake and great loss to the farmer.

If you keep in tanks, ensure salt level is assertained. That is why Lobsters and tigger shrimps are also not grown in Nigeria as the right equipments are rear and will be too labour intensive and expensive.

This has forced fish farmers to abandone the Mackerel fish farming business in Nigeria, because of it’s expensive maintenance and management.

Irrespective of it’s expensive maintenance and management mackerel fish is one of the most demanded fish in Nigeria and has the highest rate of Importation.

According to the Nigerian federal department of fisheries, fish import, especially of mackerel, remained an increasing phenomenon. It estimated the import level conservatively at 700,000 metric tons.

As of 2018 Between last January and June, Russia had exported ₦3.04 billion of mackerel to Nigeria, while Faroe Island ferried ₦2.77 billion; Ice land, ₦1.76 billion; Ireland, ₦1.76 billion; Netherlands – ₦1.31 billion and Mauritania ₦1.1 billion.

This is to show you the rate of demand and consumption of mackerel fish in Nigeria.

Thinking of starting up a mackerel fish farming business in Nigeria? Then you have to put some factors into consideration. Although it will be quite expensive but since you have the capital why not give it a try? I bet you, you’ll never regrate it.

The main factor to consider before starting up a mackerel fish farming in Nigeria is ensure that Salt must be constantly added to the pond and also ensure the salt levels is maintained, because if the salt is too much the fishes will die.

Mackerel is a salt water fish, they can’t survive in a fresh water and can’t also survive in a too salty water.

What Are The Benefits Of Fish Farming?

Lucrative and Profitable

Fish farming is Nigeria has turned to be a very lucrative one, because of it’s high consumption and market demand rate.

Fish farmers in Nigeria is so profitable that with a proper investment and management can yeild you x3 of your capital in 3 months.

High Market Demand

One of the primary objectives of fish farmers is to sell their fishes after maturity to the market and make huge profit.

Because of the high market demand of fish in Nigeria, fish farmers make huge amount of income every month.

Fish is a hot commodity in the market and sells faster than any other animal products in the market, and affordably cheaper than meat, making it a better choice in terms of affordability.

A Good source of Protein & Omega-3

Fish is a very rich source of Protein and Omega-3, infact it provides highest source of Protein and it’s a low-fat high-quality protein filled with Omega-3 fatty acids, which is extremely beneficial to a human heart. Omega-3 helps to keep our heart and brain very healthy. Since the human body doesn’t produce Omega-3 fatty acids, the only source through which we can get it is by what we eat, that is where fish comes to our rescue.

Fish also contains vitamins D, and B2 (riboflavin). Fish is also very rich in Calcium and phosphorus and is equally a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc and iodine.

Matures Quickly.

Fish has the tendency of fast reproduction and fast growth rate. With a good

Proper management and feeding, fish grows faster within some months, which gives fish farmers the advantage of harvesting and selling their fish over a short period of time.

Low Cost Of Production.

Starting up a fish farming business in Nigeria doesn’t require investing huge sum of money (capital), unlike starting up a poultry business which requires huge capital and has more threatening factors associated to it.

One can start up a fish business in Nigeria and grow it to a forever revenue generating business without much capital involved.

Certified & Supported By Government

In Nigeria the government supports and motivates entrepreneurs who venture into agriculture.

There is a campaign in Nigeria. Their primary aim is to motivate and encourage people to invest more in agriculture.

No Environmental Hazard Factors

Fish farm does not cause any environmental hazard. Unlike poultry farming, you can set up the fish farm anywhere, including residential areas. If you have a spacious compound, you can easily set up a small fish farm within your backyard without any regulatory precaution.

What Type Of Fish Feed Should I Use?

Feeding the fish should be the number one priority of the farmer. A well fed fish grows faster and plumpy.

In fish farming business, there are basically two types of fish feeds to use.

Two Types Of Fish Feeds.

there are two types of Fish Feed, they are:

  • Extruded(Floating)
  • Non-Extruded(sinking) feed.
Extruded Feed (Floating)

The Extruded feed is also referred to as a Floating feed. This type of feed is the early fish feed given to fish in their early stage. This is the best feed for fishes for 7-8 weeks.

It is recommended giving Catfishes floating feed at the early stage, this is because they are more fragile at their early stage. Catfishes are mostly bottom feeder, so by their very nature, they are designed to be eating non-extruded (or sinking) feed.


With floating feed, you can put the feed on the pond gradually and let them eat it; the risk of overfeeding is significantly reduced, thereby ensuring there is no water pollution that can lead to high mortality in the very fragile juveniles.

Non-Extruded Feed (Sinking)

The Non- Extruded feed is also referred to as a Sinking Feed. This type of feed are used in feeding the fish after the 8 week of feeding your fishes with Floating (Extruded) feed.

How Much and How Often Should I Feed My Fish?

How often you should feed your fish depends on the type of fish you have.

Most fish do quite well on one feeding per day. However, some owners prefer to feed their fish twice a day which is still good. Regardless of one or two feedings, the key is to keep each feeding very moderate.

It’s recommended that, newly hatched fry and young fish who are not fully grown require more frequent feedings of special foods designed for fry and fingerlings.

What Happens If You Overfeed Your Fish?

You should really mind how you feed your fishes. Ensure you feed them well. But it’s very important you don’t overfeed them.

This is because, there are some health concerns associated with overfeeding.

Overfeeding is the most common mistake fish owners make. When you give fish too much food, the remnants can clog their filter and break down into toxins and this can be harmful to fishes.

Overfeeding can also stress fish and cause them to suffer from fin rot

Overfeeding can make some fish species to develop a fatty liver disease (hepatic lipidosis).

As a result of overfeeding some rotten Uneaten food will produce by-products which can be harmful to fish. In the process of that you do overfeed, promptly remove the uneaten food using a siphon or net.

What Type Of Feeding Technique Should I Use?

There are two main categorized ways of feeding a fish they are:

Broadcast Feeding: This is a fish feeding practice that involves going around the ponds by spreading floating feed all over the pond to ensure the circulation of feeds for all the fishes in the pond.


This is the easiest way for fishes if they are in the fingerlings to the post-juvenile stage. This should be done because they just got introduced into a large quantity of water, often from somewhere significantly smaller, and not all the fishes can come to the same spot to eat.

By spreading the fish feed across the pond, this will ensure that they all got fed.

Once your fishes become more mature, often this is in the post-juvenile stage or around 30 – 50 grams, you are advised to instantly switch to spot feeding.

Spot Feeding: Spot feeding is a fish feeding processs, which involves feeding your fishes in one single spot.

Spot feeding is less time-consuming and it’s more effective since it is less stressful and you can carefully monitor how your fishes are eating.

At first, if they are used to eating using the broadcast style, most of the fishes won’t come to a particular spot to eat, however, keep using the spot feeding style on them for a few days, with time they’ll be conditioned to come to that spot and eat.

Farmers should try to base the fishes to eat in one spot once they reach 30 – 50 grams, or after 2 – 3 weeks of stocking them from a juvenile stage.

What Factors Should I Consider Before Setting Up A Fish Farm?

Before setting up a fish farm business in Nigeria, there are some certain factors you should consider.

1. Security

Choosing Location: Ensure the location you’ve chosen for your fish farm is well secured.

Location really matters in fish farming. Don’t chose an Obscure location for your fish farm.

Try as much as you can to chose an open location, where people passes regularly

if your farm is sited in a closed and remote place, and people feel that no one is watching, they may attempt to steal your fishes, which will be a very terrible loss to you business.

The fact that your farm is in an open place makes it difficult for people to do however they please.

Having your farm in an open place also makes it easy for passersby to observe what is happening; if people suspect foul play, it wouldn’t be difficult to raise an alarm.

Protect Your Fish Pond From Predators: Protecting your ponds from predators should be one of the most important factor to consider before starting up a fish farming business in Nigeria.

Fish predators like Snakes, Monitor Lizards, Large birds such as Kingfishers, Hawks, could feast on your fishes if your fish pond is not well protected.

Protect your pond by netting your ponds, you can easily prevent these predators from getting to your fishes.

Netting your ponds also protects your farm from human predators who will not want to be discovered. People will be careful to behave anyhow with a pond that is netted, compared to a pond that is open and where external activities would not be easily noticed.

If possible install security cameras around your fish pond. You can also install security lights that can be programmed to turn off and on at intervals.

2. Land Mass.

You can start your fish farming business with just a plot of land. I have also seen some cases whereby people starts their fish farming within their vicinity, (at their backyard).

3.  Always sort Your Fishes.

Sort the fish to create better conditions for life and gloving. Sort the fish according to the size to ensure equal compete for food and space.

4. Proper Pond Planning

For proper pond planning It is better to seek for services of an aquaculture consultant. The professionals can determine what kind of pond you need, examine your goals, and provide all the needed conditions of the fish pond.

5. Ensure Proper Storage System.

A proper storage system should be constructed even before starting up the fish farming business. Fish farming needs a storage house or warehouse where fish feeds will be stored in a cool dry place.

6. Good knowledge Of Running A Fish Farm Business.

This is another Important factor you should really consider before starting up a fish farming business in Nigeria.

Without knowledge nothing will work properly, before your should start up your fish farming business, it’s highly recommend you should undergo fish farming training. This will enable you know how to properly manage your fish farming business and grow it to be a successful one.

What Do I Need To Start Up A Fish Farm Business?

This is where the main business plan comes in, before starting up any business, you should make a business plan. You can’t run a business without having a plan.

A business plan is a necessary tool for creating a proper image of your future production. It helps to set goals and find ways to achieve them. You can create such a plan on your own or ask for expert’s help. Write down a complete description of what you want your business to be like.

Set goals, consider all the issues you have to solve like how much you’ll pay for renting land and how much you’ll spend on building ponds and fish breeding, then compare this total to the amount you want to earn and think over how much fish you can breed and sell to achieve your goals.

Starting up a well planned fish farming business in Nigeria, you’ll need to:

1. Construct Your Fish Pond.

Its recommended you setup a 10ft X 10ft earth fish pond with a depth of about 4ft to 6ft, for this purpose you need around $500 to $750 (100,000 to 150,000 Naira). Such a pond can hold about 1,000 grown fishes. It is also possible to use concrete pond, drum pond or plastic tank.

Note: its really Important to disinfect your pond with anti-bacterial and anti-fungi disinfectants.

2. Choose And Purchase Fish Juveniles & Fingerlings

After you must have constructed your fish pond, you need to Choose and purchase juveniles and fingerlings for your fish pond. Like i’ve written earlier the price of good fingerlings is around 20 Naira each, juveniles cost around 40 Naira each.

Note: It’s very necessary you feed your fish once or twice a day, as proper feedings contributes to your fish gaining weight.

Avoid Overfeeding your fish as this can cause more harm than good.

3.Steady Water Supply.

You need proper borehole system near the source of quality water supply. We all know water is the number one survival factor of a fish, So there should be a steady and quality water supply in your fish farm.

Note: Chemically treated and rainwater can’t be used in fish farming business. You need to provide a steady flow of fresh water for the development of your business. That’s why you really need to construct a borehole water supply system, for steady water supply to the fishes.

Best source of water supply for fish farming and other agricultural activities are:

  • Ground Water
  • Springs
  • Surface runoff
  • Rivers, streams or lakes
  • Municipal
  • Wells

You can install an over head tank, which will provide the convenience of supplying water to your ponds when necessary.

Remember water is the main key factor to fish survival.

If you decided to go into mackerel fish farming, then you need to provide steady supply of salt water.

Note: The salt levels in the water must be maintained, if the salt in the water is too much, the fishes will see definitely die.

4. Ensure To Regularly Change The Water

Always ensure 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.

5. Study The Market.

Always study the market, understand the needs of buyers. Contact potential buyers and find out their requests and desires. Discuss the details of your fishery products about 2 months before the deal.

Example of Drum pond

What Challenges Are Involved In Fish Farming?

1. Poor pond design.

Poor or bad quality of pond can lead to the leakages or other factors that are very bad for the business.

2. Poor Farm Location.

Choosing a poor farm location can negatively affect your fish farming business.

3. High level of competition.

There is high competition of fish farming business in Nigeria, due to it’s high rate of probability.

So many individuals have ventured into fish farming for the sole aim of making huge profit. So as an individual who is new to the business, you have to make some marketing research, know your competitors around the market, know the species of fish they farm and know the prices at which they sell their fish.

4. Lack of experience

An Inexperienced handled business can never grow. So it’s very important you communicate more with experienced farmers, attend fish farming seminar classes and read more information online about fish farming business.

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