One of the simplest and quickest methods to earn additional money is via catfish farming.
Regardless of your experience, you may start a catfish farm as a different source of income since it can be done on a large or small scale.
Fish farming, especially of catfish, is today a highly successful industry that is primarily supported by the ongoing increase in demand for catfish, with several hospitality businesses opening virtually weekly. In the restaurant business, catfish is often used in pepper soup.
Depending on the amount spent, this firm has the potential to produce N200,000 or more per month.
Catfish may be exported, smoked, dried, or fried to one’s preference, according to Dr. Christopher Adetunji, a catfish farmer headquartered in Osun State.
“A lot of folks are now significant catfish exporters. Due to the demand for catfish outside of Nigeria’s coastline, individuals have begun traveling abroad. After drying or smoking it, we package it neatly in nylon for shipping. Because of its nutrition, we even have many customers inside Nigeria,” he said.
Adetunji claims that since catfish are tolerant of numerous types of water, raising them is quite simple. Inside your property, you may find a worthless empty water tanker or drum for someone who wishes to try catfish.
Even if your yard is made of concrete, you should still catch some catfish fingerlings and place them in a water tanker or drum after adding water to it. But make sure there is a method for regularly filtering the water. Drill a pipe so that you may release the water while pumping in new water when utilizing a drum or tanker.
Adetunji also said that beginning a catfish farming company demands labor, devotion, and most importantly passion. It typically takes fingerlings four to five months to reach the adult stage.
He said that “starting with a plastic pond is cheaper since all you have to do is purchase the pond that has already been created and put it up with proper plumbing and waterworks. Ponds are attainable. Consider a reliable water supply like a borehole. Yet, when important water quality factors including temperature, pH, alkalinity, hardness, nitrogenous waste, dissolved oxygen, and salinity are not maintained within predetermined limits, catfish experience stress.
“Knowing the quality of your water source is more advised, and one should have testing equipment to test the water,” he said.
He warned that “the pH value of water expresses the degree of its alkalinity or acidity. A pH value of 7 indicates that the water is neutral; values below 7 indicate acidity, whereas values over 7 reflect alkalinity. The pH scale spans from 0 to 14, with pH 7 indicating that the water is neutral. A pH that is too low or high might have a significant negative impact on fish output.
When a catfish weighs between 300 and 400 grams on average, it is considered to be market-ready. This process, known as mélange production, involves growing catfish from fingerlings to mature fish that can be sold and smoked.
In a similar vein, Ms. Akume Audu, another catfish specialist, said that catfish is one of the simplest fish to raise.
She said, “Anyone interested in starting a catfish farm in Nigeria should seek for a good location and purchase fingerlings. The primary method for producing fingerlings in hatcheries is artificial reproduction through hormone induction.
Use the homoplastic pituitary gland suspension if you want to manufacture your own fertilized eggs. Often, it is less expensive than the imported hormonal equivalents. In terms of marketability and growth, catfish is more dependable.
Nevertheless, one should be aware of the risks before participating, which include the issue of cannibalism, severe predation by frogs and aquatic insects, and abiotic difficulties like the temperature of the water.
“You should consider the presence of predatory insects in Nigeria if you want to grow the fingerlings outside. Thus, be careful to use mosquito netting to cover the tanks to keep predatory insects at bay.
You ought to be able to employ an indoor water recirculation system (WRS). But, it is more expensive, therefore most people just use concrete tanks.
“On feeding, you must be ready to feed them at specific times of the day,” she said. The necessary amino acids found in sources of crude protein, such as arginine, methionine, and lysine, must be present in the diet you are providing.
“Fishmeal is the best source of crude protein for this use. Yet, it is advised against using it because of its expensive price (i.e. if you are just starting out). Alternatives that satisfy the nutritional needs of catfish include various traditional and sometimes non-conventional animal by-products and plant waste (such as groundnut cake, soyabean cake, etc.).
Also, she said, this is being done to keep manufacturing costs as low as possible.
“As Nigeria’s fish farming industry has grown over the years, pelleted floating feeds are increasingly used to feed catfish. This guarantees the fish get appropriate nutrition, resulting in faster development.
While feeding, it’s best to focus on a specific area of the pond rather than merely sprinkling feed all over the water. By doing this, feed waste is reduced.