This is a very good question. Many people keep asking me this question “How much does it cost to grow catfish in Nigeria?”
To get a good grip on this, we must first understand that we all have different target weights.
If I am trying to grow my fish for sale to smoked fish sellers, it will be at a different price to if I am set to sell to pepper soup joints, and this will also be at a different price to those who come to buy from the East who want very big fishes, say 2kg or 3kg.
They would also take varying time to get to the respective sizes.
So with that in mind, I will itemize five points that would help you determine the cost of growing catfish in Nigeria.
1. It depends on the type of pond.
There are different types of ponds and the corresponding costs of operations of these would be different.
For example, an earthen pond will probably have water coming in from the ground, have a stream water source nearby and you would not be spending money on constructing and running a borehole for water. So, definitely, adding the money for a mobile pond or a concrete pond or the money for pumping water, that makes it look more expensive.
There is also the circulatory system of raising catfish and of course, you are on fuel throughout; twenty-four hours a day; seven days a week. This costs so much more money. This is usually covered up by putting so much fish into the system to cover up those expenses.
2. The prices of fingerlings and juveniles.
Averagely, the price for fingerlings is between 10 to 15 naira while that of juveniles is between 20 to 25 naira depending on the size at the time of purchase.
So, when buying fingerlings, you might buy them cheaper but remember that you will buy feed to feed them to the size of juveniles that you could have bought at their prices.
Factor in this cost to your total costs. also remember that when you raise fish, not all of them would survive, so if you want to harvest 1000 fishes, you should probably stock like 1200 fishes in your pond. This increases the cost of the cycle.
3. The cost of feed.
See here, for an article I wrote on fish feed. I think it will help you.
People raise catfish from different kinds of feed. Feed makes up about 70 percent of all the expense on a well planned fish farm.
A foreign feed is, of course, more expensive than locally made in Nigeria feed.
I am not so sure you are interested in the cost more than the profit you will make in the long run.
Let me ask, is it more profitable to use an 800 naira per kg feed when I am going to sell the same fish for 600 naira? Why not use a 450 naira per kg feed? It is profit I am looking for and not just that the fish should grow big rapidly.
A word is enough for the wise.
Calculate the cost of a bag divided by 15kg which is the total weight of most fish feed bags. It is usually stated that fish need 1 kg of feed to get to 1 kg of size, in reality it is more like 1.2kg of feed to get to 1kg of size. So with the feed you are using, you can try to calculate how much it would cost you. Different feed used would mean different cost prices at the end of the day.
These are like overhead costs.
Some people pack a staff of 5 people for a fish farm of 5000 fishes.
What do you need them for?
Fish is one of the easiest animals to raise and most days, after feeding them in the morning and evening, there’s not much work left to be done.
So, if you can reduce your staff to one to three people, that will be more likely profitable. I basically recommend one staff per 3000 fishes. Land, cost of fuel and other operational costs come under this point.
5. The cost of the facility.
Some ponds are rented. And these rented facilities might be rented at an expensive rate. And these kinds of expenses add up to the cost of growing catfish.
Averagely though, I should think with the increased cost of everything in the country, it is ideal to budget to raise a kilogram of catfish for between 700 to 800 naira. This should be a very fair estimate.
You can check here for tips on how to start a catfish farm. You can also contact me for any question or any support I can render in helping you start your farm.
Knowing that fish feed takes most of the money spent on the farm, I did this short video for you to learn from below.
Watch me share helpful tips on fish farming from my farm here on youtube.
I wish you all the best in your endeavor.