Soursop – a sweet fruit that grows well in the tropical conditions of southern Nigeria

Soursop is a nutritious and delicious fruit with flavour like a combination of mango and pineapple.

Soursop is the fruit of Annona muricata, a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree. The tree does well in tropical regions with high humidity like the southern parts of Nigeria, West Africa. Anona muricata tolerates poor soil and this makes it easy for anyone in southern Nigeria to grow the soursop tree in their backyard.

The soursop fruit is large and oval-shaped. The green exterior, which has spines on it, covers a white, fibrous flesh. Soursop is a nutritious and delicious fruit with flavour like a combination of mango and pineapple.

Nutrition

Raw soursop is 81% water, 17% carbohydrates, 1% protein, and has negligible fat. In a 100 gramme reference amount, the raw fruit supplies 66 kilocalories, and contains only vitamin C as a significant amount (25%) of the Daily Value, with no other micronutrients in appreciable amounts. One whole soursop fruit contains 215% (2 times) of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

Health Benefits

Vitamin C, which soursop contains in high amounts, is an antioxidant known to boost immune health. Vitamin C strengthens your immune system, improving its ability to defend against pathogens. It also promotes the destruction of free radicals, which can help to protect your skin and cells from environmental oxidation damage.

Good for the digestive system. One whole soursop fruit contains around 83% of your recommended daily allowance of fibre, which is a vital nutrient for your digestive health.

Medicinal value. Soursop has many uses in traditional medicine, and it has been used to treat a wide range of health conditions and ailments.

How Soursop is eaten

The fruit can be eaten fresh by cutting or tearing it open to reveal an edible white pulp, some fibre and indigestible black seeds which should be thrown away. The pulp can also be used to make smoothies, fruit juice drinks and ice cream flavourings. 

I like eating my soursop whole, fresh from the tree, when it is in season. Soursop can be found in local markets in Nigeria when it is in season. However you like it, you do yourself good when you eat soursop.

Cheers!

Ugochukwu Ukwuegbu

Soursop fruit straight from the Annona muricata tree

Why our customers like our smoked and dried catfish

Our customers like our smoked and dried catfish because It is tasty, clean and sand free.

Our customers like our smoked and dried catfish because:

  1. It is tasty, clean and sand free.
  2. The fish remains chunky and tasty in the soup or food you cook with it even after a few days because we dry only mature catfish.
  3. Our catfish is properly dried. Because the fish is properly dried you can store it in a dry container for six weeks. You can refrigerate it too if you like.
  4. Our customers can travel abroad or to the village with the dried catfish to cook with it or give it as gift to friends and family members.
  5. We can deliver the dried fish to our customers at home or office.
  6. Our dried catfish is good value for money because food cooked with it is a tasty delight.

Thank you.

NB: Do you want to know how to place your order for properly dried catfish? Then go to: https://divinefish.com.ng/order_your_fish.php

Recipies: African delicacies you can prepare with dried catfish:

  1. How to cook ogbono soup with smoked and dried catfish
  2. How to cook banga soup (‘ofe akwu’) with smoked and dried catfish
  3. How to wash your smoked and dried catfish before cooking with it
You can order dried catfish online from Divine Fish and Gardens
You can order your dried catfish online. We deliver to Lagos.

Catfish fingerlings and juveniles prices from Divine Fish Farm hatching facility

One decision that is essential to growing catfish successfully in a farm is sourcing healthy and good breed of catfish fingerlings or juveniles.

One decision that is essential to growing catfish successfully in a farm is sourcing healthy and good breed of catfish fingerlings or juveniles. Counting from the first day of feeding catfish fries, fingerlings are 4 weeks old catfish while juveniles are 8 weeks old catfish.

Good catfish fries are hatched and nursed in a controlled environment within the right temperature, good water pH and essential nutrients.

After a successful hatching process the catfish fries look like tiny grains of sand. They can number from 10,000 – 100,000 (ten thousand to one hundred thousand). They get their initial nutrients from minerals in the water. After 2 – 3 days the catfish fries can be fed for the first time with specially formulated feed. The catfish fries need extreme care and attention because even the slightest mistake can be catastrophic and can lead to the whole set of fries being wiped out.    

At 2 weeks old the fries grow to a size we call Ijebu fingerlings (in Southwest Nigeria). At 4 weeks old, outgrower farms can buy and stock the fingerlings but they still require experienced handling to prevent mortality. Farmers who want to avoid the risks of stocking fingerlings choose to stock catfish juveniles (8 weeks old catfish) instead and grow them out.

When you buy your catfish fingerlings or juveniles through Divine Fish Farm you can be sure that you are getting a good breed of catfish for your catfish farm or ponds. When you order your catfish you can choose to come pick them up or pay to have them delivered to your location.

The prices of catfish fingerlings and juveniles are as follows:

SNQuantityFingerlings (4 weeks)Juveniles (8 weeks)
10 – 5,000 piecesN25.00 per fishN35.00 per fish
25,001 – 10,000 piecesN20.00 per fishN30.00 per fish
310,000 and aboveN15.00 per fishN25.00 per fish

Procedure to order your catfish fingerlings and juveniles

  1. The first step is to call 08077776861 to confirm the availability of fingerlings.
  2. If you want fingerlings (4 weeks old catfish) and they are available they can be packaged and shipped to you within three (3) working days after payment has been made for them.
  3. If you want juveniles (8 weeks old catfish) then you will first call to confirm for the availability of fingerlings. If fingerlings are available then you will book for them. This means you pay for them. On our part we will feed them and take good care of them till they grow to juvenile stage after 3 – 4 weeks.

Thank you.

Call: Ugo on 08077776861; Email: info@divinefish.com.ng.

You can click here to send us an instant message from our contact page.

We will reply you

Our website is www.divinefish.com.ng

Fishing worst performing agriculture sub-sector in third quarter of 2020 – the catfish farming experience in Nigeria

Some of the reasons for the contraction of fishing in Nigeria include high cost of inputs, inefficient production methods and low price of fish in the market

The fishing industry in Nigeria contracted by 2.07 percent in the third quarter (July – September) of 2020 according to the National Bureau of Statics. Fishing was the only sub-sector in agriculture that includes crop production, livestock and forestry to contract.

What this contraction means is that farmers are investing less in fishing. Based on experience at Divine Fish Farms and Gardens, some of the reasons for the contraction include high cost of inputs to fish farming, inefficient production methods by farmers and low price of fish in the market.

Input to fish farming include fish feed, water, labour, medication and transportation. The cost of these inputs have increased considerably in the past few years and have led to hight cost of producing fish.

Many farmers are not properly educated about methods that lead to optimal fish growth and production. Hence they use methods of fish farming that are wasteful and lead to losses.

A lot of people engaged in fish farming in Nigeria are not knowledgeable about market pricing and sell their fish at ridiculously low prices that are below cost of production. Furthermore, the purchasing power of Nigerians has weakened considerably in the last few years and they are not willing to pay enough for their fish protein. As a result of the low price of fish in the market farmers who sell their fish at below production price incur losses and eventually run themselves out of business.

The reasons I have given above are only a handful. Some people also add that the fishing sub-sector in agriculture in Nigeria is contracting because of government neglect over the years. Do you agree? If you are a fish farmer what other reasons do you know that have led to contraction in the fish farming sub-sector? Feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.

Frequently asked questions about catfish farming in Nigeria

My name is D. U. Attah. based in Taraba State, Nigeria. Sir I was
reading an article on fish farming business and I saw your email address. Actually I wanted to start a fish farming business and wanted to know more before venture into it.

We received an email from a young Nigerian from Taraba State considering venturing into catfish farming business. After preparing our reply to him we decided to also post our answers to his questions on our blog so that other people can learn too. We hope you find it useful. The email and reply follows. 

Good evening sir.

My name is D. U. Attah. based in Taraba State, Nigeria. Sir I was
reading an article on fish farming business and I saw your email address.
Actually I wanted to start a fish farming business and wanted to know
more before venture into it. So please sir if you don’t mind, I will want
you to help me with the following information.


Q.1) For a starter how many juvenile catfish is one supposed to start with?

A.1) You can start with 1000 juvenile catfish.

Q.2) If I am to start with 1000 fish how many bags will they consume to maturity?

A.2) They will consume about 40 – 45 bags of 15 kg bags of feed in 3 months; Or 60 – 65 in 5 months; Or 75 bags in 6 months.


Q.3) How many months am I supposed to rear them?

A.3) 3 months if you are targeting 500 – 600 grammes average weight. 5 – 6 months if you are targeting 1.0 – 1.2 kilogrammes average weight.

Q.4) How many KG of feed will they feed on per day (to get a maximum result)?

A.4) It is recommended that you feed the catfish to satiation every time you feed them. The quantity of feed they eat varies with age of catfish, weather and time of day. Generally, the quantity of feed a fish eats varies according to its size. So when they are juveniles they eat relatively little, and when they are 800 – 1000 grammes they eat a lot. 


Q.5) If I am to use tarpaulin which size will I buy and how much?

A.5) For 1000 catfish it is recommended you use 3 tarpaulin ponds each of which should have a minimum surface area of 8 metres square. The cost of the tarpaulin ponds varies with the type of materials you use in constructing it and the labour charges. A tarpaulin pond of 8 metres square can cost forty thousand naira (N40,000).

Q.6) If I stock 1000 fish will harvest up to 900 kg?

A.6) Yes you can harvest 900 kg of catfish after 5 – 6 months if you take good care of the fish.


Q.7) What will be my average or maximum cost?

A.7) Your operating cost for feeding 1000 juvenile catfish through 5 – 6 months can range from N400,000 – N500,000.


Q.8) How frequently do I need to be changing the water?

A.8) Every 3 – 4 days. 

Q.9) What other things do I need to know?

A.9) You will need to learn about the different brands of fish feed in the market. You need to investigate the price of catfish in the markets around you. You should also find an experienced catfish farmer near you so you can learn from their experiences farming catfish.


Please sir, i will be grateful if you can help out and respond to my mail.

A.10) Done.


Thanks and God bless.

Sincerely,

Divine Fish Farm and Gardens

Email: info@divinefish.com.ng; Website: https://DivineFish.com.ng

Commonly used ponds for aquaculture in Nigeria – Types of ponds used in farming catfish in Nigeria

A brief description of the three common ponds used in farming catfish in Nigeria with links to detailed descriptions of each type of pond.

Aquaculture is the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae and other organisms under controlled conditions. Following the social and economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic more and more people across Nigeria are going into the business of catfish farming and one thing they like to know is the kind of habitat, or environment, to grow their catfish in urban or semi-urban areas. In this article I will give a brief description of the three common ponds used in farming catfish in Nigeria with links to detailed descriptions of each type of pond. 

The three most common types of artificial environment or ponds used for growing catfish in Nigeria are:

i) Earthen ponds;

ii) Concrete ponds;

iii) Plastic tanks and tarpaulin Ponds.

Earthen Ponds

Earthen Ponds are found close to natural water courses like rivers, streams, and ponds and are located in the outskirts of urban areas or even rural areas. Some work is done in and around these water courses to prepare the artificial pond to be suitable for farming catfish. There is usually the need to dig pits deep enough to hold water to grow fish. The banks of these pits also have to be reinforced with sandbags to prevent the sides of the ponds from collapsing during floods.

Care too  has to be taken to protect the fish in the pond from predators such as snakes, frogs, birds and other animals. Flood and theft are major concerns and measures must be taken to prevent or mitigate their occurrence. 

When conditions are right through a growing season fish do relatively better in earthen ponds than in concrete ponds or plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds.

Earthen ponds can be found in agriculture settlements in Ogun State at Idiroko, Aiyetoro, Agbara, Ifo; in Lagos State at Iyana Ipaja, Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry, Ajah; and in Delta State at Warri. 

Earthen pond in Idiroko Ogun State
Earthen pond in Idiroko Ogun State

ii) Concrete Ponds

Concrete Ponds are built with quality blocks, filled with concrete mortar, and plastered inside-out with cement mortar. They are usually found in walled enclosures in sub-urban areas. People with spare land and plenty of freshwater in their houses can set up concrete ponds to grow catfish. A well constructed concrete pond is leak-proof and can last ten years or more. Concrete ponds include plumbing systems to allow inflow of fresh water to the ponds and outflow of waste water from the ponds.

Concrete pond used in farming catfish in a residential area.

iii) Plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds

Plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds are temporary or mobile fish ponds commonly used in fish farming in residential areas. They are the least expensive to set up among the common types of artificial ponds. The plastic tanks and tarpaulin materials used in their construction can be bought from tank manufacturers or retailers of these products.

Features common to all types of artificial ponds used in farming catfish in Nigeria are a well, pumping machine, plumbing system, storage tanks, weighing scales, water pits and plastic containers.

In fact, in many catfish farms you will find a combination of two or even all three types of artificial ponds in use to grow fish.

Ugochukwu Ukwuegbu

NB: Do you want to start your own catfish farming business? You can use our consultancy service and avoid common costly mistakes made by many new and even old catfish farmers. Call Divine Fish Farm and Gardens on +2348077776861; Email: info@divinefish.com.ng; Website: https://DivineFish.com.ng 

Catfish farming in Nigeria with earthen ponds

An earthen pond with a surface area of fifty square metres can be used to grow three thousand table size catfish in five to six months. Earthen ponds are ideal if you want to grow 10,000 or more catfish per cycle.

Earthen ponds are artificial ponds used to grow fish. They are usually found close to natural water courses like streams, rivers, and ponds and are typically located in the outskirts of urban centres or even rural areas. Some work is done around the water courses to prepare the artificial earthen ponds for growing catfish. There is usually the need to dig rectangular or circular pits one to two metres deep into the earth to hold water to grow the fish.

The banks of these pits have to be reinforced with sandbags to prevent the sides of the ponds from collapsing especially during rain. In some cases the sides and bottom of earthen ponds are lined with tarpaulin to reduce loss of water by permeation into the earth. Measures also have to be taken to protect the fish in the pond from predators such as snakes, frogs, birds and other animals.

An earthen pond with a surface area of fifty square metres (5m by 10m) can be used to grow three thousand table size (1kg – 1.5kg) catfish in five to six months. Earthen ponds are ideal if you want to grow ten thousand (10,000) or more catfish per cycle. Earthen ponds are the artificial ponds closest in features to the natural habitat of catfish.

Things you will find around an earthen pond used to grow catfish are water well, pumping machine, plumbing, nets, shovels or spades, jiggers, water storage tanks, plastic containers, a weighing scale and a storehouse. Earthen ponds require substantial use of manual labour during its operation.

Earthen ponds are usually used by farm cooperatives to grow fish and you will find them in agricultural settlements in the outskirts of towns. There are earthen pond farms in Ogun State at Idiroko, Aiyetoro, Ifo; in Lagos State at Iyana Ipaja, Ikorodu, Epe, Agbara, Badagry, Ajah; and in Warri, Delta State.

Advantages of using earthen ponds in catfish farming

i) Fish perform relatively better in earthen ponds than in other artificial ponds because it has features closest to the natural habitat of fish.

ii) Fish supplement their normal feeding from the farmer with worms and plants that grow in the ponds. This gives the fish a wider range of nutrition and can marginally reduce the total cost of feeding the catfish.

iii) Natural sources of water used in growing the fish are supplemented by fresh water pumped from wells dug around the earthen pond farm.

iv) The fish have a relatively larger surface area to grow in compared with concrete ponds or plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds.

v) It is easy to embark and disembark from catfish farming done with earthen ponds because the farmer only needs to rent the farm for one or more years.

vi) There are natural outlets to dispose of waste water used in growing the catfish.

vii) Earthen ponds can be used for large scale catfish farming of 50,000 – 500,000 catfish per cycle. When done on this scale the per unit cost of growing the catfish and operating the farm is least when compared to other forms of artificial ponds.

Disadvantages of using earthen ponds in catfish farming

i) Because they are located in the outskirts of urban areas or in rural areas the cost of logistics in transporting feed, materials, and fish to and from the farm are relatively high. 

ii) They require hired farm labour to operate well unlike in the other artificial ponds where the farmer or members of the farmer’s household can provide the labour for operating the fish farm. 

iii) Catfish in the ponds are in danger of being eaten by predators like snakes, frogs, birds or other animals if adequate preventive measures are not taken.

iv) Theft. Earthen ponds are a target for human thieves who steal fish.

v) Flood. In times of excessive flood earthen ponds can overflow with water and the fish can swim away leading to loss of catfish.

vi) It is relatively difficult for the farmer to monitor the goings-on in his or her earthen pond round the clock.

Ugochukwu Ukwuegbu

NB: Do you want to start your own catfish farming business? You can use our consultancy service and avoid common costly mistakes made by many new and even old catfish farmers. Call Divine Fish Farm and Gardens on +2348077776861; Email: info@divinefish.com.ng; Website: https://DivineFish.com.ng 

Earthen pond at Idiroko, Ogun State
Divine Fish Farm visit to earthen pond at Idiroko
Earthen pond at Ikorodu, Lagos State

Catfish farming in Nigeria with concrete ponds

People with spare land in their houses can set-up concrete ponds to grow catfish. A well constructed concrete pond is leak-proof and can last ten years or more.

Concrete ponds are built with quality blocks, filled with concrete mortar, and plastered inside-out with cement mortar. They are usually found in walled enclosures in sub-urban areas. People with spare land in their houses can set-up concrete ponds to grow catfish. A well constructed concrete pond is leak-proof and can last ten years or more.

Concrete ponds have plumbing systems to allow inflow of fresh water to the ponds and outflow of waste water from the ponds. There is usually a need for a pit for the waste water. It is advisable to get an experienced and competent builder to build your concrete pond because you do not want to be fixing leaks soon after a poorly constructed pond is put to use. 

Things you will find around a concrete pond are water well, pumping machine, water storage tank, net, plastic containers, PVC pipes, weighing scale and a storeroom. 

Three concrete ponds each with a surface area of four square metres and a depth of one and half metres can be used to grow one thousand catfish to table size (1kg – 1.5kg) in five to six months. The same three ponds can be used to grow two thousand catfish to two thousand catfish to 0.5kg – 0.7kg per fish in four to five months. 

Advantages of using concrete ponds in catfish farming

i) Concrete ponds can be constructed in a walled environment in urban or suburban areas. It can even be constructed in the farmer’s house.

ii) The catfish farmer can work from home. In this case the cost of water and power can be discounted as part of the cost of providing these utilities for the household.

iii) Concrete ponds can be used to grow two thousand to twenty thousand (2,000 – 20,000) catfish very close to an urban centre where it has a ready market.

iv) It is easy to monitor and care for the catfish grown in concrete ponds. 

v) A well constructed concrete pond can last ten years or more before requiring serious maintenance.

vi) Waste water from the ponds can be used to fertilize a garden.

vii) There is practically no risk of flood overflowing concrete ponds so the fish are safe from flood.

viii) Protecting the fish from birds and predators is easy as covering the ponds with a net is usually sufficient.

Disadvantages of using concrete pond in catfish farming

i) The setup cost is relatively high. The structure is semi-permanent.

ii) It requires a relatively large volume of water to run.

iii) Waste water from the concrete fish ponds can be a nuisance in the residential neighbourhood if adequate provision like a large pit is not made to get rid of the waste water.

iv) One must have a constant supply of water and fish feed to run a successful farm using concrete ponds.

iv) One must have a constant supply of water and fish feed to run a successful farm using concrete ponds.

v) The per unit cost of scaling beyond a capacity of 20,000 catfish is relatively high.

Catfish in a concrete pond at Divine Fish Farm and Gardens
Catfish swimming in a catfish pond
A broad view of a concrete pond in Nigeria

Ugochukwu Ukwuegbu

NB: Are you thinking about starting a catfish farming business and you need consulting services to help prevent making costly mistakes? Then consult with us. We are Divine Fish Farm and Gardens. Call +2348077776861, Email: info@divinefish.com.ng. Website: https://divinefish.com.ng

Catfish farming in Nigeria with plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds

Plastic tanks used in growing catfish come in various sizes and capacities from a volume of 1000 litres through to 20,000 litres.

Plastic tanks used in growing catfish come in various sizes and capacities from a volume of 1000 litres through to 20,000 litres. Used chemical storage tanks like IBC (Intermediate Bulk Containers) can be repurposed to serve as fish tanks. Tarpaulin material is also wrapped around rectangular frames and used as ponds to grow catfish.

Plastic tanks can be bought from manufacturers of water storage tanks and their retailers. Tarpaulin materials can be bought from markets that deal in related plastic and chemical products and used to construct the ponds. These types of ponds are temporary and used mainly in residential areas to grow catfish. On a larger scale tarpaulin materials can be used to line earthen ponds.

Plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds have plumbing systems to channel fresh water into the ponds and wastewater out of the ponds. A pit is necessary for the waste water. Equipment you will find in a catfish farm that uses plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds to grow fish include water well, pumping machine, nets, plastic containers or bowls, water storage tanks, weighing scale and a store room.

Advantages of growing catfish with Plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds

i) They are easy to set up, assemble and disassemble.

ii) They are the least costly to set up of the three common types of artificial fish ponds used in growing fish.

iii) Leakages are easy to spot and fix.

iv) It can be set up in residential areas where they can be secured and easily monitored.

v) It is easy to monitor and observe the growth of the fish grown using plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds.

vi) They are suitable for use in hatching or spawning catfish fries because they can be set up inside a building where the ambient temperature can be controlled. 

vii) If the farmer changes his or her mind about catfish farming it is relatively easy to disassemble the system and resell the component parts of the plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds to other fish farmers.

viii) They are easy to maintain.

ix) They can be set up very close to the market for catfish in urban areas.

x) It is suitable for people who want to start small or who want to experiment catfish farming.

Disadvantages of growing catfish with plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds

i) The component parts have relatively short lifespans of about 3 – 5 years.

ii) They break easily leading to leakages that must be fixed.

iii) They require frequent cleaning to control the slimy layer of plankton growth and bacteria colonies along the walls of the plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds. 

iv) They have the most artificial environment among the common artificial methods of growing catfish. 

v) It is usually impractical to scale beyond a 20,000 capacity fish farm when exclusively using plastic tanks and tarpaulin ponds to grow catfish.

vi) The setup and look of a plastic tank and tarpaulin ponds system can easily get clumsy and cumbersome as it scales beyond a capacity of 5,000 catfish.

NB: Are you thinking about starting a catfish farming business and you need consulting services to help prevent making costly mistakes? Then consult with us. We are Divine Fish Farm and Gardens. Call +2348077776861, Email: info@divinefish.com.ng. Website: https://divinefish.com.ng

Catfish on a scale in a plastic container
Plastic container of 2000 litres capacity
Tarpaulin ponds
Juvenile catfish in black plastic container

Cost of feeding 1000 pieces of catfish juveniles to 1kg table-size fish in Nigeria

A good benchmark for budget planning to grow catfish is estimating the cost required to feed the fish till they reach market size. I recommend that every fish farmer does this at the beginning of a fish growing cycle.

A good benchmark for budget planning to grow catfish is estimating the cost required to feed the fish till they reach market size. I recommend that every fish farmer does this at the beginning of a fish growing cycle.

When feeding of catfish is done optimally, 1000 kilogrammes (kg) of feed will convert to 1000 kilogrammes of catfish flesh.

Method

You can choose to grow 1000 kg of catfish by:

  1. Growing 3000 pieces of catfish juveniles to average mass of 330 grammes in 3 months; or
  2. 2000 pieces of juveniles to average mass of 500 grammes in 4 months; or
  3. 1000 pieces of juveniles to average mass of 1 kg in 6 months.

Whichever method you choose from above, it is recommended that you grow with floating feed to 50% of body mass and complete with sinking feed for the remaining 50% of body mass.

 Cost of feed (as of March, 2020) for raising 1 tonne of catfish.

  1. 500 kg of bagged floating feed will cost roughly N220, 000 (two hundred and twenty thousand naira); and
  2. 500 kg of bagged sinking feed will cost roughly N185, 000.

Going by the above you can estimate that it will cost you N405,000 to grow 1 tonne of catfish flesh.

Thank you.

Email: info@divinefish.com.ng.