How to start catfish farming business in Nigeria

Catfish farming is the growing of one or more of the ray-finned fish for mainly commercial purpose . It involves constructing concrete or tarpaulin ponds, filling with fingernails and feeding them until they are sizable enough for sale in the market.

In this article you will be tutored on how you can start your own successful catfish farming business in Nigeria. We will give you all the catfish farming tips to enable you start your own catfish farming for profits. As far as aquaculture business is concern, catfish farming is among the most lucrative in Nigeria.

In this write-up , I will be explaining so many things you need to know about catfish farming business in Nigeria and how you can make your catfish business successful

There are various ways of starting a catfish farming business.   Catfish farming business is a simple and flexible animal husbandry based business that you can start  anywhere, particularly in tropical climate like ours.  Also, catfish farming business can be operated in your place of residence, especially for those that have a  spacious  compound. Yes, you can start catfish farming at home.

In  the world all over, there are so many catfish species, some of them include: pangas  catfish, greasy grouper, bighead carp, grass carp, silver seabream,  common catla,  Nile tilapia, etc. However most of them are not suitable for fish farming in Nigeria.  The most common catfish in Nigeria are: tilapia and raising catfish, the later catfish is the most common.

In this article, you will be  taken step by step on how you can start a catfish business with all the catfish farming tips. Also, you will be given major hints of  starting and developing a catfish farming business. Below, you will see how a catfish business can be operated.


Steps to start catfish business

Follow these steps to start a catfish business

  1. Determine the size of Your catfish farm
  2. You must understand catfish farming market in your area
  3. Proper Drainage
  4. Understand the cost of starting catfish farming business
  5. Get to know your rivals (competitors)
  6. Build the catfish pond
  7. Feeding the catfish
  8. Be vigilant about catfish diseases
  9. Keep records of your catfish business including income and expenses

Above are the summary, read each points in details below.


1. Determine the size of Your catfish farm

I assume you are a serious about starting a commercial catfish farming. In this case you need to construct a concrete catfish pond. The exact size will depend on the capital you want to start with. There are many sizes of catfish farm you can build.

As a beginner, you can start with catfish juvenile, nurture them for good and rapid growth and make handsome profit when you offer them to the market. The advantage of starting with big catfish is that you save on the cost of feeds because you buy in bulk or you convert part of your business into producing catfish feeds.


2. You must understand catfish farming market in your area

This involves knowing the level of demand of catfish in your area. You may have to do little investigation from market men and women, hotels and restaurants, and from other stakeholders who buy and sell catfish. Also find out the price of a fully grown catfish and the period of the year catfish is in great demand. Catfish is of different species such as flathead catfish, blue catfish, channel catfish and so many others. They live in fresh water and eat worms and insects and other amphibians such as frogs and sometimes small reptiles.


3. Proper Drainage

It is very bad to channel drain waste from your farm to public places, therefore before starting a cat fish farming business, you need to consider where to locate your catfish farming business in order for you not to dispose your farm waste without being a nuisance to other members of the public. If it is in your home or a place you acquire, make sure that you make a suitable plan for drainage.


4. Understand the cost of starting catfish farming business

It is very important to have a proper knowledge of how much it will cost you. The cost will depend on the season, the size of busines syou want to run and the cost of materials at the time.

Your key expensive will include: construction catfish tank (pond), buying quantity of catfish to start your business, buying feeds and probably drilling a borehole for proper water supply. All these should be embodied in your business plan, if you have any.

You can arrive at specific costs by going out to ask questions in the form of market research. If possible, find out also the range of profit that can be made in catfish farming business in your area.  Consider all important items needed for the operation of your catfish and also your production plan annually, such as feed, fuel, equipments and machineries, work force, supplies, utilities, repairs and emergency funds.


5. Get to know your rivals (competitors)

For you to make a headway in catfish business, you know those you compete with . You must know their capabilities such as how big they are, the catfish species that they grow, their customers and in fact their marketing strategies. Also you will find out the market that is not yet served, how the markets are responding to the services given to them. Can you attract the market further by improving on your services?


6. Build the catfish pond

Building your catfish pond largely depends on the size of business you want to operate. You can go with either a small pond or a large one. It is important that you select the best location needed for your catfish farming business. Not having enough space for the ponds can cause big disaster for you. Please don’t build it yourself if you don’t have the experience. Get an expert advice so that you can construct the type of pond that will enable your fish to have a healthy growth. You can also consider the option of starting your catfish farming in plastic tanks


7. Feeding the catfish

You must feed the catfish with quality feeds that contain proper nutrients such as lysine, argimine and methionine. Also, the water must always be fresh , either from borehole or river. Treated water like tap water or even rain water cannot be recommended, otherwise, it is a question of time, your catfish pond will be empty because your catfish would all die. Moreover, don’t use acidic water of any kind, to know this, you need HP meter that reads acidic level in water.


8. Be vigilant about catfish diseases

Catfish can develop symptoms of unhealthiness. When you begin to notice inactivity, change of colour, bloated body, cloud eyes, open sores, red streaks, etc, take adequate action. You must be very observant about the catfish you rear to avoid epidemic of a particular disease and deal with any disease when it is noticed. To avoid loosing your catfish farm, you must pay attention to your farm, ask pertinent questions and obtain phone numbers from mentor and experts.


9. Keep records of your catfish business including income and expenses

Maintain accurate records of number of fish in a particular pond, how much it cost you to buy fingerlings and how much you sold. Make it a habit to record all transactions of your business. So that you will be able to determine your level of profit at any time.



Catfish farming business in Nigeria is easy and profitable business, anybody that is determined to succeed should venture into it.  However, you cannot go into it without proper knowledge of the catfish farming terrain, otherwise you end up in regrets.

For other business ideas, check our page: Business Ideas

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Chris Okafor

Chris Okafor

Chief Chris Okafor is a marketing consultant and CEO of C. J. Marketing Academy, providing training services to the industry and educational services to the profession.
He produces study materials for the students studying for the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN) examinations.
He also provides tutorial services for students writing the NIMN examinations

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  1. I am interested in starting a catfish farming business. I have a budget of 3m and a land scale of 600sqm to use. I need where I could be trained and tuitor on this business.

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