More recently, unlike snails and pork meat, fish is widely consumed as an enriched source of protein, for this reason, so many people (farmers) are venturing into fish rearing having seen the green opportunities in fish farming.
Nowadays, in religious groups like the Eastern Orthodox Church and Catholics, Fish can substitute meat especially on fasting days when it is a taboo to consume meat.
More so, health wise, fish is considered to be a healthier meat substitute to Turkey, Chicken, Beef and Pork.
Luckily, there are numerous opportunities in Fish Rearing especially in Africa, as the continent is said to have the most extensive and expensive marine fisheries which are further exploited by international commercial fleets.
Additionally, such catches are aimed for foreign sales or exchange, thereby contributing to the actualization of Africa’s food needs.
Why Should You Farm Fish?
Unarguably, the demand for fish in the continent has skyrocketed with little supply of it for the African populates, thereby giving room for higher market bids.
With this being said, it’s no news that there is an opportunity for every entrepreneur or fish farm owner to meet the demand or rather contribute a quota to the fish market.
Truth be told, Small-scale fisheries or/and Aquaculture as a whole provide certain opportunities to increase and however, solidify the Africa’s local economy, which on the other hand, results in the reduction of poverty and hunger and other crimes that might relate to it.
Funny enough, the bulk supply of fish in the African market will continually be available through small-scale fisheries –to be more specific, will come from cheap fish products for the poor masses.
In addition, Fish farming is the core in the continent’s vision to defeat malnutrition in the populace.
Interestingly, Fish rearing is rapidly taking over the position of an attractive type of aquaculture, as there are too many agribusiness opportunities for the farmer practicing it in Africa.
Again, pisciculture being basic form of aquaculture involves cultivating fish in an enclosures such as ponds, irrigation ditches, tanks and cages for either a commercial or personal purpose.
What Are The Types of Culturable Fish?
As we may have it, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of fish species that are grown on fish farms today.
However, amongst all, those commonly reared are Tilapia, Cod, Catfish and salmon.
Well, Catfish are the most common among the list of fish commoners for the following reasons;
- They have a relatively low amount of feed cost
- Depending on the type of feed and the feeding rate, Catfish tend to grow faster
- Catfish have the ability to overcome slight acidic water environment
- Catfish also possess developed gills, an organ [the arborescent organ] that aids the fish get oxygen from air when the oxygen levels (D.O) are Extremely low in water
- They are omnivorous (feed on both plants and meat)
- There are several suppliers of hatchery and juveniles
- The Feed suppliers are often available
- Catfish are quite easy to raise especially in a warmer climates like Africa
- The fish can permanently live or survive in a pond
Inasmuch as there various species of catfish, the following three (3) are the most prominent;
- Blue catfish — Ictalurus furcatus)
- Flathead catfish — Pylodictis olivaris
- Channel catfish — Ictalurus punctatus
In addition, there are typically two (2) methods of growing fish, and they include the Nursery Fish Rearing and Grow-Out Fish Rearing.
Depending on your choice, you can decide to practice these two systems either separately or by integration.
Before I forget to mention, did you know that so many people go into commercial fish farming without even knowing the qualities of a commercial fish farmer.
What Are The Qualities Of A Commercial Fish Farmer?
The features include, but are not limited to the fact that he or she;
- Plans production around the targeted markets
- Harvests and markets fish in accordance to the plan.
- Offers job opportunity to skilled and technically-trained personnel
- Efficiently manages the fish farm and inputs for maximum yield or output
- Ensures profit or market gain
- Stores and analyses inventories of production, its costs and returns
Fish Market Or Buyers
As a fish farmer, it is so wrong to start searching for customers or rather buyers only when your fish is readily available. This is quite wrong you know?!
I mean, why the wait?
So, what happens after when your pond must have reach the maximum capacity?
They simply quit growth.
And may I remind you that the longer your fish remains in the pond shortly after a quit in further growth, the smaller your profit margin becomes.
That’s not wise at all, because you actually will spend more in feeding them only to allow them begin to lose weight
And when they do lose weight, your selling price will adversely be affected.
Unquestionably, in a commercial fish farming setting, the market remains the core driving force.
Therefore, It’s crucial to identify your potential market where you can profitably market your fish, as the volume and price of fish to be produced per time, and the frequency of sales are only determined by the market.
In addition to that being said, the target market greatly determines the levels of ones investment in fish rearing in terms of the species to raise, the size of pond and even harvest.
For this cause, the optimum size of your operation and technology alongside the management strategy are all based on the market you may wish to join.
What Decisions Can I Make As A Fish Farmers?
Well, based on your financial and physical resources, there are several decisions you can make as a fish farmer, and they include;
- The number of ponds you should have so as to meet you target markets
- How to design and construct a standard fish pond (with considerations to the size of the pond)
- The number of ponds that can fit on you land
- Duration of your production cycle
- Type of management to adopt for seasonal harvest
- Optimum size of fish to produce
- Capacity to meet the needs of your customers
- Partnership with other farmers so as to meet market demand and also maintain competitiveness.
What Are The General Goals Of A Fish Farming Business?
As a fish farmer or doctor actively practicing fish farming business, your sole aim should be to supply fish to the target market at a competitive price that would also give room for good profit.
Practically, a good way to ensure that such happens is by engaging in direct sales to the market (or your consumers).
Unfortunately, going by the saying “everything that has an advantage equally has a disadvantage, this strategy will only foster sales of a smaller quantity of fish compared to the large quantities when purchased by the middlemen.
However, when there’s a consistent customer base for your fish, the aforementioned strategy will be highly profitable, as it tends to reduce the cost of your business operation.
Are you already in the business of farming fish? If yes, what are your thoughts on the opportunities it gives?
Oh wait, you mean that you’re about to venture into this agribusiness? Oh, I can see that, so what are your fears? I will be waiting to answer you.