Catfish farming in Nigeria

How to Start a Profitable Catfish Farming Business

In this write-up, you will learn the profitability of catfish farming business in Nigeria or any other part of the world you are. Similarly, you will also learn how to start your own profitable catfish farm if you are interested in this line of business.

Therefore, if you have heard of catfish farming business but you don’t know how lucrative it is to start or how to start it then this post will show you all you need to know to start your small scale catfish farming in Nigeria.

Having said all this let’s delve deep into this write-up to address some questions frequently asked.

What is fish farming?

Fish farming is the raising of fish (for personal or commercial use or both) in tanks or enclosures such as fish ponds.

Types of Fish

There are several types of fish in an aquatic world which are: cyprinids, pangas catfish, sea trout, freshwater fishes, silver sea-bream, common carp, Catla, Nile tilapia, grass carp, greasy grouper, bighead carp, Salmon and thousands of others.

Is catfish farming profitable in Nigeria?

Catfish farming is a profitable business idea in Nigeria, however, how much profit you can make is dependent on your marketing strategy, amount of money invested, experience in the business, and reduction of your production cost thereby maximizing your profits.

The profitability of catfish farming in Nigeria

Catfish are mostly farmed by fish farmers because:

  • Catfish sell faster in the market than most fish because there is a steady demand for catfish in the market
  • The return on investment in catfish farming is very high therefore it will compensate for your time and money.
  • It also grows fast and can reach marketable size in six months.
  • If well manage the mortality rate are very low.

How long does Catfish take to grow?

Under a favorable condition and proper feeding, a catfish can reach marketable size in six months. However, if you want a desirable size catfish you will have to wait like 10 – 12 months or even more.

Properly feeding the catfish is very important if you want them to grow fast within a short period of time.

Carfish farming in Nigeria
Catfish farming

Credit source: Pixabay

How do I start a catfish farming business in Nigeria?

Here is a list of things you need to run a fish farming business in Nigeria and they are:

  • Knowledge
  • Get a good location
  • Construct your fish pond
  • Get a good source of water
  • Select catfish as your fish species
  • Ensure you buy good juveniles
  • Understand fish feeds & feeding

1. Knowledge

It’s very important to get a good and practical fish farming training before owning one yourself. Although fish farming is lucrative, poor management can cause a big loss to your business.

So, you can meet farmers who have been in the business for long and get tips from them on how to run a successful fish farming business.

2. Get a good location

You need to decide if the scale of catfish production. If it’s a small scale you can start by building fish ponds at your backyard. While, for large scale farming, depending on the funds you have at your disposal you can either rent or buy a suitable plot of land for your catfish farming business; bearing this in mind

  • location must be free from pollution
  • nearness to market.
  • easily accessible.

3. Construct your fish pond

Basically there are two main types of artificial fish ponds for fish farming and they are concrete and earth pond. Similarly, breeding catfish in plastic, fiberglass or wooden reservoirs is also an artificial method of building fish ponds.

For a starter who is short on funds in the fish farming business, you can raise catfish in plastic, fiberglass or wooden reservoirs. But, if you have the fund to invest you can hire the service of a pond construction expert/engineer or buy tanks.

Building fish farming tanks or raising catfish in a stock tank is also another way you can raise your catfish easily.

raising catfish in a stock tank

4. Get a good source of water

As oxygen is to man; so is water to fish. Therefore, to prevent loss in the catfish farming business, it is necessary to give the fish good and needed water to promote the growth of the fish.

Also, what you considered good water can be detrimental to the health of your fish. For instance, you can drink chemically treated water, but such water could be poisonous to the fish because of the chemicals used to treat the water.

Having said all this, well and borehole waters are a good source of water for catfish farming.

5. Select catfish as your fish species

Catfish is the most popular breed of fish in Nigeria. Most farmers farm catfish because they can grow fast and are disease resistant if good species are selected. Also, the market for catfish is huge in Nigeria.

6. Ensure you buy good juveniles

For a starter in the poultry farming business, I will advise you to farm juveniles catfish instead of fingerlings. The mortality rate in Juveniles is very low compared to fingerlings if well managed. Therefore, you can visit a fish farm where good Juveniles are sold and purchase yours.

7. Understand Catfish Farming feed & feeding method

It is important for you to know how to feed your catfish properly and the types of feed needed by the catfish for each stage of development. Similarly, proper feeding times can help catfish develop fast.

Basically, there are three ways you can feed your catfish and they are:

  • Natural fish feed: this is naturally found in the catfish pond such as detritus, bacteria, plankton, worms, insects, snails, aquatic plants and fish. So, to prevent your fish from eating themselves ensure you always feed them with other feed methods.
  • Supplementary fish feed: This includes cheap materials such as kitchen wastes or agricultural by-products. Although, supplementary feed is good, as a catfish farmer, don’t depend completely on this feeding method.
  • Complete feed These are fish feeds that are made from good ingredients and nutrients by experts in the aquatic farming sector who understand the perfect feed formula for catfish at the different stages of development.

Related: Poultry Farming For Beginners: How To Make ₦600,000 As A Beginner

Catfish farming business plan

At first, I wanted to attach a pdf file of a catfish farming business plan for my audience. But because it was copyrighted I decided to just give you a small scale business plan for catfish farming.

Therefore from this section, you will learn how much profit you can make from raising 5000 Juveniles.


5,000 Juveniles @ ₦30 = ₦150,000

Cost of feeding = ₦500,000

Cost for Labor (Optional) = ₦75,000

General farm treatment = ₦25,000

TOTAL = ₦750,000

Note that the estimate given here does not include the location cost for the fish farm, water supply cost, and cost for constructing your fish ponds.

Let’s assume, there was a 15% mortality rate i.e. 750 fishes died and the rest were sold at N800 each. Although the selling price varies from one location to another, however, this is the minimum price in my location for 1kg of catfish.

Income From Sale

₦800 × 4,250 = ₦3,400,000


Profit = Income – Expenses

₦3,400,000 – ₦750,000 = ₦2,650,000

In summary, you can make over ₦2,000,000 as profit in six months of farming catfish in Nigeria. This pays is way better than most white-collar jobs in Nigeria.

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Posted in Infotips NG Special and tagged , , .

I am Anthony Stephen, an information blogger and the Chief Editor of InfotipsNG. My sole aim of creating this blog is to give Nigerians and other people all over the world well-researched information.


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