Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Catfish Farming Business in Nigeria by Oluwatomi Olatoye

Fish farming in Nigeria is currently a very lucrative business and it is mainly boosted by the continu-ous rise in the demand for catfish.

This trend, therefore, makes catfish culture the most popular form of fish farming in Nigeria and it is therefore where the discourse of this article is going to be centred.

Whether you are just starting out in aquaculture with the hope of making just an extra income or going into full scale commercial production, Here you will discover the  prospects and the challenges facing the catfish industry in Nigeria.

Overview of fish farming in Nigeria
Let me start by giving you a quick overview of the state of fish farming in Nigeria.

The most common species found in Nigeria are; Clarias gariepinus,  Heterobranchus bidorsalis,
Clarias X Heterobranchus hybrid (Heteroclarias) and Clarias nigro-digitatus.
Heterobranchus sp are very common in the south eastern part of Nigeria with clarias spp dominating in the west.

Despite the popularity of catfish farming in Nigeria, the fish farming industry can best be described as being at the infant stage when compared to the large market potential for its production and marketing.

This is mainly due to unavailability of fingerlings owing to lack of adequate infrastructure for hatcheries and fingerling production.

If you intend to go into catfish farming in Nigeria, the first thing you have to get hold of is the fingerlings.

The fingerling can be obtained mainly through artificial propagation in the hatcheries through hormonal induction.

If you intend to produce your own fertilized eggs, you can make use of the homoplastic pituitary gland suspen-sion.

In Nigeria, it is usually more affordable than the imported hormonal analogues. Fish Farmers also say that they are more reliable. And I seriously don’t doubt them.
But despite the beauty of induced spawning, there are challenges which you must face:  both biotic and abiotic challenges.

These problems all have their root in the extra care needed to be given to the fry during the first week of life. In this regard, you have to battle with provision of zooplankton which serves as feeds for the larvae, fry and fingerlings thus playing a major role on their growth and survival.

There is also the problem of  cannibalism, heavy predation by frogs/aquatic insects and the abiotic challenges such as water temperature, dissolved oxygen (>4.5mg/L-1), levels of ammonia. The brood stock to use for the purpose of breeding should be between 0.3kg and 2kg.

1 comment:

  1. Great post...

    With the demand for fish across the world far outstripping supply, and nigeria importing more than it produces as per fish.... now is the time for it's citizens to get involved in the fish farming industry.

    The key to making it in the business is the right education... not only on the technical aspects of producing fish... but also on the art of managing a fish farming business.

    You would find a lot of FREE information, tips, resources that will enable you to easily and quickly start up your fish farming business on Its all no strings attached!!

    Kind regards,