Catfish farming is an important aspect of agriculture widely practiced globally. With the ever-increasing demand for fish globally, production too is increasing to match the demand. The global returns for fish farming currently at 33.8 million tonnes per year. Catfish farming is a lucrative form of the fish farming business. Some of the reasons why catfish farming is lucrative are:
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1. The operating cost for feed and maintenance for catfish is very low compared to poultry which is also widely practiced.
2. There are a lot of restaurants, fast food outlets, and bars; that use catfish (Point and Kill or Fish barbeque ) as their favorite food on their menus.
3. Catfish can survive in almost all water conditions because it has both gills and lungs for breathing in and outside water. So the mortality rate is lower compared to other fishes. Even though Catfish is not the most popular fish in Nigeria, this fish species is by far the most cultivated in Nigeria.
4. Catfish is one of the easiest fish species to cultivate. Which makes people naturally flow to the direction of fish species they found to be the easiest to cultivate. You can either cultivate it in earthen pond or tank as the case may be.
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However, there are several factors to look into before embarking on catfish farming.
Knowledge First thing is to get adequate training about it because every business needs knowledge, you can also make plans to employ competent hands to help manage your farm.
Know your market, What do they need? What are the things they crave for? What is your market demand? How do they want it? You need to identify and provide an answer to these questions. You need this information to make it BIG! If you can proffer to these, then you would be successful in it. You must pattern your production to meet your market requirements.
Business plan Your business plan entails you knowing the cost implications of various things you will need, like the cost of fingerlings, pond construction, type of practice to use maybe earthen pond or tank.
Location of the farm is one of the most important and there are certain factors to take note of.
• Well-drained soil, not waterlogged
• Proximity to source of water (except if its tank system)
• Accessible road because of market
• Good drainage facilities For new catfish farmers the best way to start is to start small and expand gradually so that you take the minimal risk while you get more grounded in the nitty-gritty of the business.
Watch out for the next part.