During the start of the global lockdown in 2020, I assisted my brother to start his successful catfish farming business.
Believe me when I tell you that the business is a lucrative one anyone can venture into.
So today in this post I will show you how to start a successful catfish farming business that will attract customers and revenue for you.
Let’s dive into it.
Things to Know
The simplicity and flexibility of starting the catfish business allow you to start from anywhere you are.
You can start the business in your compound just like my brother who started his inside our large compound.
This means that your compound must have the space to accommodate the farm.
Also, you have to understand there are different species of catfish and they include:
- Flathead catfish
- Blue catfish
- Channel catfish, etc.
The species listed above and many others are the ones reared in Nigeria.
Practical Steps to Starting Catfish Business
1: Carry out a market
This has to do with understanding the market in your area and knowing the demand rate of the products.
You have to find out from market sellers, hotels, and restaurants how often people buy fresh and processed catfish from them.
You will find out the cost of a fully grown catfish and the period the demand increases.
Also, you have to learn and know the difference between the various species. And learn what other farmers feed their catfish with, the different food they eat, and the stages appropriate to feed them with each food.
2: Know the size of your farm
The size of the farm depends on the capital you have. You can decide to construct a concrete catfish pond or buy the already made ponds that require fixing them at the location.
Being a beginner, I advise you to start with juveniles, rear them to maturity and sell them immediately.
The advantage of starting this way saves you the cost of feeding them from when they are little.
Also, learning how to produce the feeds will help reduce the cost of buying them from the market and boost your sales by selling to other farmers.
3: A proper drainage
Location matters a lot in this business. It will be unhygienic to channel the water from the pond into a public place.
Both the used water and waste must be deposited properly to avoid causing a nuisance to others living around the farm.
4: Know the cost of starting the business
The cost of starting and running the business depends on the following:
- The season you are in
- Your desired farm size
- The cost of materials in the market
Your major expenses will be on:
- Construction of fish ponds
- Buying of quality fingerlings or juveniles
- Drilling of boreholes
- Overhead tanks
- Maintenance cost
Going out to ask questions about the business will give you more insights into the market like knowing:
- The profit margin of the business in your location and items needed to run the farm daily
- Yearly production plan such as supplies of feeds, feeds, manpower, maintenance, and repairs
5: Know your competitors
To succeed in any business you must know who your competitors are. Find out:
- How big is their farm
- The species of catfish they grow
- Their customers and market
- And the marketing strategies they use.
Furthermore, you should take out time to know the markets they are not into and how these markets are responding to the services they are given.
It’s left for you to plan out ways of improving the services of your customers to win customers over to your business.
6: Construct the pond
The capital you have will determine the size of the pond you will construct. You can decide to construct the concrete type or buying the already made pond.
Before you decide on the type to use, be sure to consult with an expert for advice.
7: Feeding the catfish
The feeds of the catfish must be of good quality that has the necessary nutrients such as:
Make sure that their water is always fresh. This means that the water must be changed every two days to enable fishes to stay healthy and grow properly.
8: Watch out for any disease
As a catfish farmer, you have to always be observant by looking out for the following:
- Change of color
- Bloated body
- Open sores
- Cloud eyes
When you notice any of the above, take the appropriate action by contacting a specialist to treat the fish.
Another thing to know as a farmer is to know the species you rear to avoid any epidemic of a particular disease associated with the species and how to deal with anything to come up.
9: Keep proper records of the business
As a businessman in this business, keeping an accurate record of the number of fishes in each pond.
Keep a record of how much you bought the fingerlings, how much it cost you to feed them and how much you sold them.
Also, keep a record of business transactions to know profits and how well your business is doing.
10: Market the business
Market your business both online and offline. On your social media accounts, post content about the fish when they are still fingerlings, when they are mature and when they are harvested for the market.
Teach people through your content how to start and run a fish farm, the monetary benefits involved, and the latest in the market.
With time people will start seeing you as an authority by consulting you or probably inviting you to conferences to talk about your business and the industry.
Offline marketing entails you going to hotels, restaurants, bar parlors, and markets to tell about your products.
Also, tell your family and friends about your farm.
Now I’d like your thoughts and comments on starting your catfish farm in the comment section.