Start a Catfish Farming Business in Nigeria

Catfish farming Business in Nigeria

This article is a continuation of my previous article; ” Fish farming business In Nigeria“.

If you haven’t gone through that article, you should as I won’t be repeating what I wrote.

The catfish farming business in Nigeria is lucrative enough to fetch you millions yearly only if you know what you are doing.

As a beginner in this catfish business, you can easily make a profit of N5,000,000 in your first year. That is how profitable the catfish business is in Nigeria.

The reason why am focusing only on the catfish farming business is that, in Nigeria, we prefer catfish over other species.

Not because other species are not good enough, but because of our tropical location, and catfish seem to have a “rugged kind of adaptation” to cope not just with our tropical condition but also with our environment.

And the other major reason why catfish farming is the most preferred among Nigerians is because of its market value in Nigeria over other species.

No one definitely wants to go into rearing species of fish that have no market value, except if you intend to eat them.

Talking about knowing what to do; I have said much in detail in my previous article; fish farming.

So in this article, I will just do a bit of complimentary.

How to Start a Catfish Business in Nigeria

Fish Ponds

A fish pond is something you can’t do without, even if you decide to start off from your backyard.

There are different kinds of ponds.

  •  Earthen pond
  • Concrete pond
  • Tarpaulin/tank pond.

Different type of land demands a different kind of ponds

If your land is swampy it is advised you use earthen ponds for your catfish rearing.

The reason is that earthen ponds are best in waterlogged land.

It is not advisable to use earthen ponds on dry land because it will demand more resources from you both in the setting up and continuous maintenance.

This already tells you that if the land you have right now is dry the best pond to use is a concrete pond.

But in a case where the land is not yours, “that is on rent”, the best pond to use is tarpaulin or tank pond as it will help you avoid loss in a scenario where there is a landlord vs tenancy breach.

And if you are thinking of starting a small catfish farm in your backyard, a tarpaulin or tank is the best pond to use.

The reason is that, if the landlord decides to change his mind about letting you rear your catfish in the backyard you can easily move it, unlike concrete where you will incur losses destroying and rebuilding the ponds elsewhere.

The building of the ponds isn’t complete if you omit the treatment of the ponds.

Treatment of the Ponds

After the pond has been built you must make sure the ponds are in good condition.

There are a few tips we need to understand about making the ponds ready.

If it is an earthen pond, we put lime into the water. The reason for the lime is to kill the germs that could be harmful to the fish mostly the fingerlings and juveniles.

If it is a concrete pond we use what is called Ewe Akintola in Yoruba. I don’t know what it is called in English.

The job of Ewe Akintola is to sanitize the water both from the water germs and also the chemicals generated from the cement of the concrete.

In other to attain full cleaning of the water the Ewe Akintola must be in the water for days or at least 2 weeks.

Fingerlings and Juvenile.

The best advice we normally give is; “if you are new in this industry, it is always good for you to choose juveniles over fingerlings.

The reason is that juveniles tend to have been older than fingerlings.

Because it is older, the management is easier ‘especially if you are just new’. And the water won’t be needing much treatment unlike if you were to start with fingerlings.

But note, just as you have to be extremely careful where you get your fingerlings, you have to be careful too where you get your juveniles.

There have been cases where people buy juveniles or fingerlings and after feeding them for 3-4 months they discover the fish are not growing.

The reason the fish are not growing is due to the species of catfish that they are. That is why you must get your fish from the right source.

Two things that can help you know the right source:

  1. the seller has records of selling good fingerlings over the years or
  2. Someone recommended the seller to you.

Other than that, please don’t try your luck as you might end up running at a huge loss.


You must understand that most of your investment will be spent on feeding. The reason is that it is the most critical part of this business.

A deficiency in feeding will definitely affect your profit.

And since feeding is very demanding to the capital it is advised you know how to go local so as to keep expenses below income.

In learning how to go local, you will need someone to put you through, as watching it on youtube or researching on Google won’t be enough.


Management is everything to succeed in any business in this world.

You can have all the resources to support your business but if your business is to succeed you must have the best management.

I won’t be writing anything about management in this business as I have written two deep articles on everything you need to know about management.

I advise you to read them to fully understand what it takes to develop an effective and efficient management team.

But remember, as I have already said in the Fish farming article; “you must go through one-on-one training on a farm or employ someone with the technical know-how in this business and that person’s experience must not be less than a year”.

For more details on this article and how to run a profitable fish farming business in Nigeria, make sure you read the introduction to this article; Fish farming Business In Nigeria

How much does it cost to start a Catfish Farming business in Nigeria?

Using a case study of a farm capacity of 10,000 fingerlings of Catfish.

The capital covers pond construction (which is the common concrete type), fish feeding, and production, as the marketing of the catfish

It will take 10 ponds to contain 1,000 fingerlings catfish each.

To construct one concrete fish pond measuring 3m X 2.5m X 1.4m (1/w/h). The materials and prices below are rough estimates of materials.

  • Blocks (120,000),
  • Sand (28,000),
  • Cement (130,00),
  • Gravel (64,000)
  • General Farm treatment (N50,000),
  • Water supply (58,000),
  • Misc (100,000),
  • Fingerlings (1 is N30, that is N30 X 10,000 = N300,000),
  • Cost of feeding from day one to full maturity stage (1,000,000),
  • Workmanship (150,000)

Total = N2,000,000

Note; the more quantity you purchase, the better, since you can get every one of the fish out alive when they are ready to be sold.

let’s say in this situation, 300 fish died and the rest were sold at N800 each. —The selling price also depends on the location.

N800 X 9,700 =N7,660,000

After six months of tendering and rearing, the gain was a whooping N5,760,000.

Which isn’t bad at all. The number one money-consuming factor is the fish feeds, as you can see from the feasibility study.

The more the investment, the more the Return On Investment (ROI)

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