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.
You can choose to grow 1000 kg of catfish by:
Growing 3000 pieces of catfish juveniles to average mass of 330 grammes in 3 months; or
2000 pieces of juveniles to average mass of 500 grammes in 4 months; or
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, 2018) for raising 1 tonne of catfish.
500 kg of bagged floating feed will cost roughly N270, 000 (two hundred and seventy thousand naira); and
500 kg of bagged sinking feed will cost roughly N170, 000.
Going by the above you can estimate that it will cost you N440,000 to grow 1 tonne of catfish flesh.
We can deliver catfish fingerlings or juveniles of the hetero-clarias (hybrid) specie to you anywhere in Nigeria from Lagos State.
The prices of catfish fingerlings and juveniles as of November, 2017 are:
Fingerlings (4 weeks)
Juveniles (8 weeks)
0 – 5,000 pieces
N25.00 per fish
N35.00 per fish
5,001 – 10,000 pieces
N20.00 per fish
N30.00 per fish
10,000 and above
N15.00 per fish
N25.00 per fish
Procedure to order your catfish fingerlings and juveniles
The first step is to call 08077776861 to confirm the availability of fingerlings.
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.
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.
You can monitor the progress of growth of your fish within this period. When the fish have reached juvenile stage we will package them for you and send them by night through a reliable transport company. You can then pick the fish up at the transporter’s motor park the following morning.
On Saturday, 29th July, 2017 we (divinefish.com.ng) attended the Smart Farms Seminar – Family Edition organised by PS Nutrac in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The event discussed how farming can be done at home using everyday materials and innovative techniques to grow green healthy foods and vegetables.
Through smart farming agricultural productivity can be increased while agricultural wastage can be drastically reduced. The need for every hand to contribute to food sufficiency in Nigeria cannot be overemphasised.
Techniques of growing food discussed at the seminar include:
Design of hydroponics and aquaponics units;
Fish in aquaponics;
Hydroponics and aquaponics plants;
Plant propagation; and
Plant growth requirement.
It was a day of learning that attracted over 50 farmers and farming enthusiasts from Lagos and surrounding states. Our take-away from the event was how to use the waste water from our fish ponds, which is rich in ammonia (a source of nitrogen), to fertilize our vegetable garden. Hopefully this will help improve our water management and increase our vegetable yield.
The smart farm seminar was organised by PS Nutrac, a company committed to improved production of healthy foods using innovative techniques.
Processing catfish using firewood and charcoal fuelled oven gives the fish a unique taste that is reminicent of traditional home cooking. The process is meticulous and it results in smoked and dried catfish that attracts premium price from discerning consumers.
What you need:
50 kilogrammes (kg) of live catfish
500 grammes (g) of table salt
Two large plastic basins/bowls and trays
A brick oven (powered by firewood and charcoal)
Two bundles of firewood
One sack of charcoal
Knife or razor blades
Day 2 – Drying
Day 3 – Drying
Day 4 – Drying
You can enroll for a practical hands on training course with us at our farm. Alternatively, you can purchase an e-copy of our detailed instruction manual with photos to guide you on catfish processing. Contact us if you are interested in learning how to add value to fresh catfish by processing it.
Divine Fish Farm exhibited at the Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWiN!) ‘Made in Nigeria’ Trade Exhibition which held on Wednesday – Thursday, December 7 – 8, at the Euphoria Event Place, 1B, Archdeacon Ogunbiyi Close, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.
The exhibition was organised by the YouWiN! programme to support the growth of beneficiary businesses and connect them to local and international markets with the added aim of expanding their reach as well as taking their businesses to the next level.
During the two-day exhibition products and services were showcased from priority sectors across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria. Products from agriculture, household items, furniture and fixtures, electrical equipment, fashion, jewellery, gifts, accessories, apparel, textiles, chemicals, industrial goods, building materials and equipment were exhibited.
Many people from across Nigeria visited the trade exhibition. Officials from government departments and agencies like the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF), National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) were part of discussion panel sessions at the event. Other discussion panel sessions at the exhibition were composed of entrepreneurs, industry and professional associations, industry captains, local and international investors and the general public.
The objectives of the exhibition were:
Foster networking among YouWiN! beneficiaries and other entrepreneurs;
Promote the creation and growth of indigenous industries and enterprises;
Network local enterprises with business opportunities at the international level;
Present a platform for business and industry innovators to showcase and possibly collaborate;
Allow venture capital entrepreneurs and businesses to explore investment opportunities;
Promote the use and export of ‘Made in Nigeria’ products.
The YouWiN! ‘Made in Nigeria’ Trade Exhibition was organised with support from The World Bank, Growth and Employment (GEM) Project, YouWiN! Partner Banks, Development Partners (DFID and affiliates), Small Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) and Corporate organisations.
The Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria (YouWiN!) is a collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF), the Federal Ministry for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Federal Ministry of Youth Development, the World Bank and the organised private sector. The objective of YouWiN! is to create jobs by encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship through innovation. The programme provides financing, capacity building and mentoring to young entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
Credit: 1st YouWiN ‘Made in Nigeria’ Exhibition event programme.
We can deliver 1 kilogramme of smoked and dried catfish to your doorstep anywhere in Lagos, Nigeria for =N=5,000 (five thousand naira).
1 kg pack of our processed catfish contains 12 – 15 pieces of catfish. Our catfish is properly dried that if you store it in a dry covered container it will remain in good condition even after 6 weeks.
You can cook tasty meals of soups, stews, jollof rice and yam porridge with our catfish. You’ll love it!
Order your catfish today. Orders above 2 kg come with discount.
Do you grow catfish in Lagos, Ogun or any other state in Nigeria? Do you need a reliable source for your catfish fingerlings and juveniles? We can help you.
Fingerlings are catfish that are 2 – 4 weeks old while juveniles are 5 – 8 weeks old.
The commonly grown catfish species in Nigeria are: Clarias gariepinus, Heterobranchus bidorsalis, and hybrid of Clarias and Heterobranchus (Heteroclarias).
Clarias species grow quickly and is good specie to stock if you want to sell of your fish within 4 months as melange. If you take good care of them they should weigh 0.6 – 0.7 kilogrammes (kg) average within 4 months. Clarias can tolerate being stocked relatively crowded in concrete ponds. You have to sort every 3 – 4 weeks though and keep fish of similar size in the same pond. Clarias can grow to 2 kg in 8 months if you take good care of them. If you are going to stock catfish this long then you should have the facilities to space the fish out as they grow. You must also have the market that is willing to pay premium price for catfish that weigh 1 – 2 kg.
Hetero branchus bidorsalis
Hetero branchus bidorsalis can grow up to 10 kilogrammes. They like to be spaced out and do better in earthen ponds. Hetero branchus is the recommended species if you have customers that demand big fish and are willing to pay the right price for it.
Hybrid of Clarias and Heterobranchus (Heterclarias)
Heteroclarias combines the good features of the two catfish species named above namely: fast growth and big size. When you get it right with the sourcing, feeding and growing conditions this species can grow to over 1.2 kg in 6 months. This size of fish commands premium price in the market. There must be reliable demand if you must stock heteroclarias.
One of the big problems of catfish farming in Nigeria is availability of reliable catfish fingerlings and juveniles when the farmer wants to stock. This lack of availability sometimes forces the farmer to stock the first species available to him or her when he or she is ready to stock his or her farm.
The fingerlings and juveniles we source for you are hatched in Ogun State, Nigeria and we can deliver to you in Lagos, Abuja, Ogun, Rivers, Delta and most other states in Nigeria based on agreement.
It is important that you give us early notice of 3 weeks when you want us to supply you with catfish fingerlings and juveniles in Nigeria.
The business of catfish farming in Nigeria is not difficult to engage yourself in if you have the resources to do so. Catfish farming involves growing catfish to table-size, marketing them and selling them at a good price. It is a viable business that many people have gone in and out of for various reasons. Some have succeeded at it and made handsome profit while others have failed and abandoned it altogether.
Nonetheless, more people want to get into the business of catfish farming in Nigeria and they want to get it right. They want to succeed at it and make profit and so I get regular emails and calls from such people on what they need to do to operate a viable catfish business in Nigeria. I will try and answer them in a simple way that has worked for me.
My advice is to start small. Start with growing say one thousand (1000) pieces of juvenile catfish to table size in 15 weeks and selling them. Here are tips on the basic things you need and how to go about it.
Half plot of land;
Constant supply of fresh water from well or borehole;
3 Ponds each of about 8 square metres in area. The ponds can be made of concrete, tarpaulin, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC);
Plastic containers and one square metre of net.
2. Good breed of juvenile catfish
What are fingerlings? Catfish aged 0 – 4 weeks.
What are juvenile catfish? Catfish aged 4 – 8 weeks.
What are the catfish species commonly grown in Nigeria? Clarias gariepinus, Heterobranchus bidorsalis, and hybrid of Clarias and Heterobranchus (Heteroclarias).
Which catfish breed is best for growing in Nigeria? All 3 mentioned above will do well if properly managed.
How do you know a good catfish breed? They are healthy and lively at the fingerlings stage.
3. Three – four months feeding budget.
It is important to ensure that you have a reliable supply of feed for the duration you grow your catfish. As of October, 2016 you need about two hundred thousand naira (N200, 000) to feed 1000 pieces of catfish from juvenile to table size in 15 weeks. Some brands of bagged floating catfish feed available in Lagos, Nigeria are Coppens and Vital feed which as of October, 2016 cost N11,500 and N5,800 per bag respectively. A bag holds 15kg of floating catfish feed.
4. Catfish farming activities
Feeding. Catfish are carnivorous animals. You feed the catfish 2 times daily in the mornings and evenings. You can feed 3 times daily too but be consistent with whichever number of times you choose to feed your catfish. When you feed the catfish spread the feed over the area of the pond so that every fish has a good chance of feeding well. Feed till satiation. Use quality feed. The cost per bag of quality feed might seem high but the aim is to grow the fish from juvenile to table size as quickly as possible in less than 16 weeks. In the long run feeding with quality feed saves time and money.
Change the catfish pond water regularly. Endeavour to change the water in the pond every 3 days. In the first month changing every 4 days will be okay.
Like human beings catfish grow at different rates. Sort the fish by size every 3 – 4 weeks and keep catfish of similar size in the same pond.
Catfish in the ponds should be spaced out. Overcrowding of catfish wastes feed and slows growth.
Favour the faster growing fish. Feed them well and prioritise their spacing. If you do it right they should hit table size in 10 – 12 weeks.
Sell your catfish as soon as they reach the marketable size you aim for. When you clear the faster growing fish you can space out the remaining fish to occupy the pond space vacated by the faster growing fish.
Catfish eat more feed as they grow older so the longer you keep them in the ponds when you can sell them at a good price the more costs you incur. A substantial cost of operating a catfish farm goes to buying their feed.
The profitability of your catfish farming activities depends on the effectiveness of your marketing. Your marketing should begin the day you decide to go into the business. You should keep abreast of:
The price people buy their catfish from sellers in the market.
The price sellers buy their catfish from the catfish farms.
How sellers buy their catfish from the catfish farms.
The cost of catfish feed.
The total costs of running your catfish farming business.
Records are very important to your business. Types of records you should keep are:
Purchase records. This includes the day you buy your fingerlings or juveniles, the quantity you buy, and the cost. You should also record the quantity of feed you buy, the days you buy them and the frequency with which you buy them. Also record the frequency with which you feed the catfish.
Financial records. You should record the costs of purchases you make as well as the value of sales you make. Record the money input to the business and the sources.
Customer Records. It is important that you know the people that buy from you and why they buy from you.
7. Know other farmers and farms around you. Let them know you too.
Understanding the above steps, implementing them and being committed to the enterprise of growing, marketing and selling your catfish are key to running a viable farm. When you master how to grow 1000 pieces of catfish to table size you will be better prepared to scale up the farm to grow 10, 000 or even 20, 000 catfish. That is when the real business begins.
Another step up the value chain of catfish farming in Nigeria is having the capability to process and preserve your catfish. This will be the subject of another write-up.
The current president of the African Development Bank and former minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in Nigeria, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, sees farming as a business. I see farming as business too and I encourage people who want to engage in farming to see farming in the same way.
Food will always sell because people will always eat.