Ever read about the Ibrus, Michael, Alex, Felix and Goddy, all multi millionaires, they started with fish.
We need a lot of protein. The protein from beef and present fish supply is not enough. This explains the reason why we still import fish.
The question is why are we not farming fish large enough to feed our 150 million mouths and the rest of Africa. The market for fish is mighty. Good enough, no religion is against it and it is sweet. And the sweetest, the business is very profitable.
I have to warn that you do not rush into it. Done properly, it will fetch you lots of money but done the wrong way it can send you back to your village. To start, take tutelage or employ one who knows about it.
There are two ways to do fish farming. The domestic type may not fetch much but the percentage profit is encouraging. Here, depending on fund, you can build tanks or you do the recycling system, which brings the fish to table weight earlier than other systems.
The other is real commercial farming where you have to dredge ponds. There are ponds as big as 100 meters by 60 meters. You say I am exaggerating. Ok, go to Ona- Ofun Ona-Orun farm owned by Chief Francis Olulade Mogaji in Effon Alaaye, Ekiti State, you will see bigger ponds. Ponds bigger than a football field.
Apart from getting the fish to table weight to sell, you can sell at fingerlings stage or juvenile stage, This reduces your risk and of course, it reduces your profit.
Fish sells through out the year and when you have water running through your farm through out the year, you are ok. This is the reason why you have to have your commercial farm near a river, which you can damn.
Be sure people around you will allow you to dam the river before you commit money. You say you do not have the money but then you can rent a pond. Search, you shall get.
MARKETING. The women will come to you. You may take adverts in the papers and radio especially if you have hatchery for fingerlings. You can supply directly to Hotels.
CAVEAT. There are bumps in fish farming and I will tell you some. One small error and the result is Nil, yes Zero. Get your fingerlings from reliable source and transport them professionally.
You can lose 1 million fingerlings if you transport them hot. Test the water for PH and chemicals. Your water must neither be too basic nor acidic. Minerals and metals should be in right proportions.
Remember, fishes cannot talk; the only talking they do is to respond to food or float dead.
Besides, the water must be free of predators in and out of it. The most dangerous time is when they are developing to juvenile.
Fish eat fish you know. In one instance, 10,000 fingerlings produced 130 big fishes. What do you think happened to the rest? The big ones ate them up of course.
Solution— sort and sort and sort always. People can harvest your fish in the night, so be watchful and be friendly. One litter of DDT in a static pond can do much havoc. Remember again, fishes do not talk and so cannot cry.
Before I go, during the rains, keep people on the farm. If your pond overflows, you may lose all, I mean it, all your fishes.
Fishery is a course in the University, so there is not much we can do here, talk to practitioners and learn. Do not jump.
If you follow the rules, you will definitely smile.