Catfish Farming in Nigeria: How to Start (Beginners’ Guide)

Six out of every ten Nigerians do eat catfish on weekly basis. That’s a whooping percentage of above 65. The production of catfish in Nigeria however, from current studies showed that catfish production, distribution and marketing are way lower than its demand.

Unfortunately, a lot of people, especially those who have an interest in agricultural-related businesses, don’t know the potentials of catfish farming in Nigeria. That is exactly why we’ll be discussing how to start the profitable business of Catfish Farming in Nigeria, and the hidden opportunities therein.

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Catfish Farming in Nigeria: Overview

Before we proceed, you would agree that catfish is one of the commonly eaten fishes in homes, hotels, bars, joints, relaxation spots, and so on. When the word “point and kill” flashes by your ears, don’t squeeze your face wondering what it means. At joints, you could walk up to the fish bowl and point to a live (fresh) catfish you want killed and either used for Pepper-soup or just grilled and peppered.

There are Catfish millionaires in Nigeria, and about one-third of them didn’t really make deep research. The only fact they held on to, is that Catfish business can make one rich; and they went ahead, got a boat with a 100 Ah deep cycle battery, gave it their all, and now, their fish farming business is super-thriving.

But it gives you, as a catfish farming enthusiast, an extra edge over the ‘trial-runners’ to have some sort of ‘The Beginners’ Guide’ in the palm of your hands, which you can follow and check back on the instructions, or make some personnel extra extensive research on how to go about your business.

The common aim of every business person is taking their business to a higher level than surrounding competition, and that’s what this summarized guide aims to help you with. Let’s quickly disclose to you, what you need to know to start a Catfish business in Nigeria.

Some important questions to ask before embarking on the Catfish farming business in Nigeria are:

  • How much capital can I afford to start the business? (Capital would determine your starting scale – Small Scale or Large Scale.)
  • How many Catfish farmers are in my vicinity? (Knowing this would inevitably help you attach yourself for practical training, if you want, and would also help you determine the competition in your farm area.)
  • What is the demand for Catfish in my area? (Demand is not equal everywhere.)
  • Can I have the time to oversee the farm or do I need to employ a fish farmer? (You need to know for proper budgeting.)
  • What is Catfish farming’s ROI (Return on Investment.)

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Catfish Farming in Nigeria: Required Facilities

As with almost any other farming business in any location, starting a Catfish farming business in Nigeria requires you have some important fishing equipments on ground, where you can comfortably set up your farm and without which you are yet to start.

Piece of Land: You would unavoidably need an area of land to start your fish farming business, but it all depends on what you can afford. If it’s for a small scale fish farming business, then you can use a space as small as 1.5 square metres by 1.5 square meters. However, if you have some extra cash to spare, especially since you’re the bigger your space, the more fishes you can rear; which also means the more returns you’re looking at, then you use half a plot of land or even a full plot.

Fish Ponds: You can get a space or a land for yourself but construction of fish ponds, not very likely. You need to hire the service of a pond construction expert/engineer. It must be carefully set up and the plumbing works must be accurately connected. An error here might mean the beginning of the end of the business. You can use concrete or plastic ponds

Overhead Tank: The overhead tank is the water reservoir for the fishes. The tank might have an independent borehole or it can share from your own domestic borehole (if it’s around your house). Using chemically treated water is not good for rearing healthy fishes.

Fingerlings: There are various recommended farms where you can get your fingerlings from. Through appropriate consultation with a farming experts or specialist in fingerlings, you can evaluate fingerlings. If possible, check from a few of the recommended farms before making a pick on stock of fingerlings as catfish fingerlings are of different breeds, and it is very important that as a catfish farmer, you take your time to identify fast growing and disease resistant breeds of fingerlings to ensure profitability in a Catfish venture.

Knowledge: If everything works out at the first try, it’ll definitely be thanks to the knowledge you have about the business. If doesn’t, you can always give it another shot because nobody can take away the knowledge of the business in your head. Attach yourself to a Catfish farm and work (for free if they’re not willing to pay). It is imperative you get trained for at least two to four months before setting up your farm.

Catfish Farming in Nigeria: Feasibility Study

The feasibility study included in this guide is for a farm capacity of 10,000 fingerlings and for a farm that is just starting. The Capital covers from pond construction (which is the common concrete type), fish feeding, production, to marketing. The farm has 10 ponds to contain 1,000 fingerlings cum Catfish each.

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

Blocks (N120,000), Sand (N28,000), Cement (N130,000), Gravel (N64,000) General Farm treatment (N50,000), Water supply (N58,000), Misc (N100,000) Fingerlings (1 is N30, so N30 X 10,000 = N300,000), Cost of feeding from day one to full maturity stage (N1,000,000), Workmanship (N150,000).

Total: N2,000,000

Note: The more the quantity you purchase, the better since you can get every one of the fishes out alive when they’re ready to be sold. In this case, 300 fishes died and the rest were sold at N800 each. The selling price also depends on location.

N800 X 9700 = N7,660,000

After six months of tendering and rearing, the gain was a whooping N5,760,000 after six months, 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 you can expect as ROI.

Catfish Farming in Nigeria: Risks Involved

  • Managing a fish farm is relatively more difficult than a goat or snail farm or even poultry.
  • Losses resulting from mistakes or management slips is always more fatal in fish farms than in any other case.
  • Fish from fish farms are always priced higher than freshly caught fishes. So you might find it more difficult selling your fishes if there are many fishermen in your market.
  • Setting up a fish farm is very capital intensive. Much more than most other animals.

Catfish Farming in Nigeria: Advantages

  • Fish sells faster than most other animal products in the market.
  • Fish grows faster than most other animals; hence, the period of the ROI is shorter.
  • Fishes are bought in bulk also by people making health and beauty products.
  • There’s a very steady demand for fishes in the market.
  • The ROI from fish farming is very attractive and is enough compensation for your time and money.

If you want to go into fish farming full time, be sure to make inquiries and ask questions. If you already have the experience, kindly use the comment section to share your knowledge with others. Thanks.

96 thoughts on “Catfish Farming in Nigeria: How to Start (Beginners’ Guide)”

  1. Interesting article, since COVID-19 period has reorientate a lot of us regarding making a livelyhood and choice of industry. Thanks so much for your insightful writeup

  2. please i would love to start the fish farming business too. with all i have read,i think i find it fascinating and enticing.please i would need help and advice/consultation.

    thank you.

  3. I am about to start up this business again I just need more guide and more ideas
    I got little experience about this business I just to be enlighten more. This my contact 08132820221

    • Call/WhatsApp me via 08105587271, for your Mobile/collapsible fish ponds, Juveniles and everything you need to grow your fish into 1.5kg to 3kg within five (5) months.
      Feel free to email me

  4. It has been a good scroll through. I have a viable land in in Ibafo ogun state. But need to be sure if the swamped surface has any implication on crayfish in case i decide to utilize the space.

    • the swampy area is the best for a fish pond construction Sir,and won’t have any form of side effects,since you would treart the pond after construction.
      I’m an experienced fish farmer from Ibadan,and i do construct eathen ponds too.For more enquiry,reach me through my email,or through my mobile:09075856282

  5. I need cat fish fingerlings if you have to sale and living closer to OR in (obigbo) here in rivers state call me on, 08034626845 before 15 November 2018 after then please don’t call

  6. I need cat fish fingerlings if you have to sale and living closer to (obigbo) here in rivers state call me on, 08034626845 before 15 November 2018 after then please don’t call

  7. Hi,

    I’m a 300L student of the University of Benin. In one of my courses(enterprenuership), We were asked to prepare a proposal of any agrobased business. I chose catfish. Please help me… I don’t know how to go about this.


    Catfish business is a very lucrative business, but so many farmers are incurring losses because they lack the know-how.
    Our training covers area of catfish business, and how you can make money from the areas that interest you.
    Sincerely I am making money from catfish farming.
    The training will take place in my catfish farm, and you will be amazed!
    A comprehensive handout and manual will also be issued to you
    TRAINING COST: 30,000
    Call Wale on 07063247724

  9. THEIR ARE ALOT OF PEOPLE ONLINE PARADING THEMSELVE LOOKING FOR WHO TO DUPE, PLEASE BEWISE? If you want to set up a cat fish farm that will start giving you income as from two months up, call me on 09033756251

  10. please I want to start a fish farm business in a large scale but I don’t have large knowledge about fish farming and am also interested in fish processing I mean drying of the fish and packaging before selling can u educate me more on this area. thanks

  11. I’m a catfish farmer and also a Civil Engineer who has experience in concrete pond construction. I usually buy fingerings and nurture to table size. I can train would-farmers in my farm on how to nurture from fingering to table size and I know good producers of profitable fingerings. I don’t produce fingering due to many reasons…
    Those who are interested in durable concrete pond construction can contact me as stated. However, I’ll only be available from March 2018 because I am busy right away. (Smw2007@hotmail)

  12. Please due to the nature of my job I will need a training session on Sunday only please not far from my home attan, owode and oke ore. Use my name as my Facebook user name

  13. Nice one pls I need your help I want to go into this business but I need guide pls and pls you can contact true did number or mail me 07063545001 or adekunle297@gmail .com yhanx

  14. Appreciation
    The topic being handled is very informative indeed. I have been experimenting with Catfish farming and would like to go into it in a bigger scale. Will continue to look out for more information from this portal.
    Did I hear that maggots are the cheapest way to feed catfishes?
    Many thanks

  15. Giant Farms sells smoked catfish. Please Call or Text us with your order on 08161542270. Small and large quantities available for delivery to any State. We also provide export services. Giant Farms, your latest high quality smoked catfish supplier.

  16. Giant Farms sells smoked catfish. Please Call or Text us with your order on 08161542270. Small and large quantities available for delivery in any state. We also provide export services. Giant Farms, your latest high quality smoked catfish supplier.

  17. i want to get floating catfish feed but i base at ile-ife in osun state.did u have any sub-distributor around d place,pls what is d name of ur feed,are u sure about dat price and pls what is d quality of d feed.

  18. I’m really inspired. But I need a clarification please. I have a three bedroom apartment close to water side area. Is it proper to use the apartment(I mean inside the rooms) for cat fish business or does it only require an open environment before one can start the business?

    • Ade, i am a catfish farmer too. I can say you are right, though a little bit hard on him. I believe he was merely projecting.
      One cannot buy fingerlings and get that kind of result. The best way for anyone investing is to produce the fingerlings by yourself and then sort out the shooters amongst them for breeding. Lately, catfish has not been sold for any amount close to 800 naira. Finaly as a new investor do a thorough research and training before investing as you would most likely have a bitter experience the first time, unless you are adequately guided. However, one thing i can authoritatively say is that people should be encouraged to go into catfish farming as it will surely make you a millionaire(if everything is done in the proper manner).

  19. We thank God for your post. There is scarcity of feed in our market and whenever available very costly. The input has increased geometrically while price of fish has only increased arithmetically. The cost of your feed here must be some months age in view of the recent changes in the economy.
    I have pellet machine and need formula. Please, I would appreciate if you can help me with formula.

  20. thanks so much for the information. I live in Warri Delta State n I’m interested in starting a fish pond business soon. I already have a swampy half an hectares land but I really want to know how I could start the business

  21. I am an Ijebu lady from the same Ogbogbo you mention. I am from Itun Ilogbo, behind the old Baptist Church. I will want to visit your farm. Do you reside their? Can you also supply me fingerlings and juveniles and let me know the cost.

  22. Really educational & insightful piece! God bless y’all @nigerianfinder.. mohammed ur contribution is amazing!i’m in port harcourt & getting ready to float my fish farm , hopefully u could be of great assistance to me when the need arises.

  23. Nice post, very insightful. Keep it up, I’ve bookedmarked your site for future reference purpose. Main while:

    To make a lot of profit in your Catfish farming business, you need to cut the cost of feeding your fishes and Catfish grown at high densities requires a nutritionally complete feed to produce good growth and maintain good health. I’m a local manufacturer and distributor of high quality Catfish Feed in Nigeria. I distribute to all parts of the country to Sub-distributors, Wholesalers, Retailers and End-users. To place order Contact_ 0810395#### ADDRESS: Plot 15, Block XII, Industrial Estate, Off Idiroko Road , Ota , Ogun.

    I own a big Catfish farm myself at KM 5, Idiroko Road, Ota, Ogun State.. so my floating and sinking pellets are properly prepared with a 48%(CP) percent crude protein good and well balance fish feed formulation. We supply Nationwide to your farm or doorstep at an affordable price of NGN 2,500 per 15kg bag including transportation. Contact _0810395####

    The ingredients required to manufacture high quality feed are readily available here in Nigeria hence my Catfish feed has a high quality energy source required for growth and maintenance of body tissue resulting in improved weight gains because it is fortified with balanced vitamins, minerals and amino acids plus Stabilized Vitamin C required for better metabolism, skeletal formation, nerves, body fluid regulation and enzymes to yield maximum productivity.


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