There is always a cause for everything, likewise, there is a reason why fish farms fail.
You may start with high hopes and with all the resources required but along the line, fail woefully.
This is the woe of many fish farmers, who would have been fish farmers, in Nigeria today. Investing money, time, and effort in establishing a fish farm and eventually getting a dismal result is painful.
Hence, this article will highlight the common reasons why fish farms fail so as to know what you should avoid if you hope to become a successful fish farmer.
Below are helpful points to help you understand why fish farms fail in Nigeria:
Training and Know-how
Lack of training or technical know-how is a major reason why many fish farms fail. Setting out for a business venture without adequate knowledge and practice is setting yourself up to fail. Many think fish farming is all about building a pond, pouring water, and stocking the pond with your choice of fish.
No no no, it goes beyond that. It is more technical than it seems, actually, you need to have the technical know-how and practice over time before gaining mastery. A one-day seminar or workshop done with colorful slides and eloquent speeches is not just enough.
Attend a series of seminars and workshops, read up publications, meet with consultants, ask questions, go to farms and watch, learn, learn and keep learning till you can boast of having the technical know-how and experience.
However, you don’t have to gather all the experience and get the expertise in one day, you can start a fish farm with the basics then over time gain more experience and know-how. Just keep learning.
This is a major reason why fish farms fail. Here I am talking about fries or juveniles or fingerlings.
With the right seed and proper management, you will definitely succeed but with the wrong seed, you are likely to fail in spite of proper management practice.
Therefore, do your research for hatcheries that produce good seeds, ask for reliable ones, look out for testimonials and stick to a reliable hatchery if you found one.
Changing hatcheries may get you crying for your money.
Seeds, as the name implies will determine what you shall reap in your fish farming endeavour. Seeds can be the reason why fish farms fail and why fish farms succeed.
Everyone knows that fish and water are inseparable.
You can’t have a healthy fish without water, hence the reason why water is one of the reasons why fish farms fail.
Fish need water to feed well and ingest nutrients, moreover, they need water to take in oxygen.
The water should be abundant, clean and the pH shouldn’t be either high or low.
Avoid litter of feed remnants in the water and the water should be changed to maintain good hygiene.
One of the reasons why fish farms fail is due to improper feeds or improper feeding routines.
To successfully run a fish farm, you need to be ready to invest in fish feed.
Matter of fact, feeding constitutes 70% of the expenses incurred on a well-managed fish farm.
You can feed your baby ordinary pap, it will grow but not as well as a baby fed standard dairy product.
This applies to fish farming, fish fed with maggot won’t look as healthy and marketable as fish fed with standard fish feeds.
Matter of fact most fish farms fail due to poor feeding.
This is very vital, fish farms due to manpower issues. Having the right team of workers is key.
Many businesses have made losses or failed due to staff issues arising from laxity, nonchalance, and dishonesty. Having the wrong staff members in your fish farm can push you out of business before you can say, Jack Robinson.
Bad workers can steal from your stock of feed and equipment, underfeed or overfeed your fish, delay in changing the water in the pond fail to notice abnormalities in the behaviour of your fish, etc.
These aforementioned issues are the causes of poor business performance and failed businesses.
Therefore as you are sourcing for staff, carry out a rigorous assessment, background checks, and training.
Set up rules and regulations as well as punishments for defaulters.
These measures will greatly help your business.
Stocking density is important, and fish farming is not about how many fish you have but how healthy and weighty your fish are.
Fish are sold in kilograms and a single weighty fish can sell more than three fish of the same kind.
Moreover, overstocking comes with plenty of disadvantages, that will only cause a fish farm to fail.
It causes a situation of survival of the fittest and can lead to incidences of cannibalism.
It is advisable to start with a minimal number of fish and let your fish farming business grow organically, this gives you more control and allows you to observe trends and scenarios that will give you a better experience and make you gain mastery.
Overstocking as a newbie will overwhelm you.
The fish farming business is lucrative, but the money won’t come overnight.
You need to be patient as you strategize, execute your plans and resiliently adjust and adopt new strategies.
Generally, businesses need to be nurtured and allowed to grow organically.
So, you should calm down and manage your farm well, watch out for mistakes, learn from mistakes, be innovative, be resilient, and most importantly, be patient.
Rome was not built in a day.
Most times, fish farms fail because, certain fish farmers are impatient and are to eager to start making money.
This can push them into making mistakes that can cost them their fish.
Fish farming has requirements for success to be achieved.
When a requirement is missing, problems may arise that will lead to a failed business.
You have to do your homework well, before you set out to start fish farming, assess factors that are reasons why fish farms fail, and set measures with which to avoid these factors.
Reasons, why fish farms fail, can go beyond the aforementioned factors, but these factors are common and should be avoided.
I hope this article is helpful, we will like to get feedback from you, so kindly drop your comments in the comment box below.