The purpose of this article is to show you how to start croaker fish farming business in Nigeria, though we touch some farming aspect it is more about business aspect of croaker fish.
Croaker fish farming is one of the untapped businesses in fish farming niche, perhaps this due to believe that Croaker fish is hard to farm. While it require knowledge croaker fish can also be farm just the way you keep catfish and Tilapia fish.
It can be farm in earthen pond, concrete pond and tarpaulin
It can be feed with the same feed as catfish and tilapia, but if you are able to see its specific feed in your location use it, it will give optimum production.
What is croaker fish?
Croaker fish is a large fish commonly found in west Africa (south) it can grow up to 100cm in length, it is also now as cassava fish, Apo, Ekan ,Gbu and Nguku. It can be housed in earthen pond and concrete pond.
How to start Crocker fish farming in Nigeria
Croaker fish farming is like any other fish farming; you need to acquire knowledge to start to avoid repeating mistake of others. Find someone in your location that knows in and out of fish farming, work for and learn from the person.
It should not take you more than 3 month before you will learn everything about it.
And if you cant go through that stress you can hire experience personnel that will manage your farm while you learn from the person.
You are not doing the business for fun so carry out feasibility study; look for whom and where to sell your fish and answer the following questions
Is there completion in your propose location?
Is there security?
How far it is from major road?
All this question will tell you if your fish farming will be profitable in your propose location.
If you are serious with the business, write a business plan that will contain your dream and how you will get there and not only that a well written business plan will show you how much you need to start and when you will break even.
When you want to secure loan business plan will also come in handy.
Set up your fish farm
I will advise you to locate a fish farm settlement like Ikorodu, go there and rent a pond, when problem arise you will see some like minded to call, it is better than isolating yourself.
But once you know the in and out I will advise you again to isolate yourself, because once your become big the place will be too small for you and disease can easily crept into your farm from another farm.
If it is your first time use concrete pond or tarpaulin because it is easy to set up and manage, also you won’t lose your fish.
Drill borehole and water reservoir
If you will be using concrete pond or tarpaulin, dig a bore hole with reservoir. The borehole will connect to thank while the reservoir will connect to the pond with a switch to turn it off and on. If it is earthen pond you don’t need to dig bore hole but ensure it is near a river.
Get your fingerlings
Croaker fish is scarce to get fingerlings go to Ikorodu farm settlement or any other farm settlement in your location. When getting your fingerlings make sure the pond is ready, everything should be put in place.
Croaker fish is not different from normal fish they eat anything fish eat but there is a specific feed for them which I doubt you will be able to get in your location. If you do buy it, it will improve production compare to normal feed.
If it is concrete or tarpaulin pond you need to change the water at least once in two weeks, if it is earthen pond change the water every week.
Though the frequency of water changing depend on the stage of your fish.
Feed them twice a day for better production, do not miss a day if you do it will tell on your fish, don’t forget it is garbage in garbage out.
Once your capacity increase you need to hire worker that will help out. When hiring look for some one that already have experience in fish farming, this will reduce the cost of training them also experience worker do no need monitoring they already know what is expected of them.
Stealing is prevalent in fish farming because it is hard to count the number of fish in the pond, to avoid these high workers that are trustworthy.
If you do your feasibility study well, you will not have problem with marketing because you will know where and how to sell your fish. Any way below is the way to market your fish
Go to local market and have a stall, display your fish and attract customer, croaker fish is a big fish it won’t be long before you will sell all your fish.
Note: you should have secured a place before your croaker fish mature.
Process your fish with oven, once you do that use social media to sell it. Process fish attract large pocket customer and command a premium price.
Post your fish picture regularly with content that shows how to prepare it, it won’t be long before people will notice you and once they’ do you are in money.
To be at the safer side contact middle men once your fish reach three months. This people are always ready to buy but the price can be low compare to final consumer.
If you are in a farm settlement it will be easy to get their contact that is why I advise you to start in a farm settlement.
Challenges of croaker fish farming
You need to take marketing serious from the start, croaker fish is not known by many people therefore it is harder to market it.
The solution is to find buyer who already know what croaker fish is and create advert that will educate people.
Fish are sensitive
Little things such as late feeding can reduce your fish production.
Feed them regularly and observe for any inconvenience or diseases.
Overpopulation can cause inconveniences and disease so separate them once you detect that they are too much in a pond.
Croaker fish farming like any other fish farming is capital intensive, you should weigh your pocket before you venture into it. Cost of feed and drug are the major cost you will incur.
Price of fish
Croaker fish farming is risky and capital intensive which make the price of one unit of croaker fish to be high and you know what consumer don’t like paying to much for something that has close alternative such as catfish, sardine and kote.
There is nothing you can do about that instead look for people with big pocket that can buy what you are selling or forget marketing and leave it to middle men.
Fish farming is not like other business that you can think up today and start tomorrow, you need to get the require knowledge which can take about 3 months and before you finish you might lose interest in it.
Cost of starting croaker fish farm
It depends in your location and type of pond you want to use but all the same you will need between #3,000,000 to #10,000,000 for a start.
How profitable is croaker fish farming
Our research shows that you can get as high as 50% profit of your cost of production. That is if you stock and grow croaker fish with #3 million you will earn #4.5 million revenue, and #1.5 million profits, if it is raised for at least 6 month.
This article is about how to start Croaker fish farming in Nigeria and we have contribute our little to it, this is just to get you started, go to fish farm settlement around you and make more enquiries about it. Good luck in your business.
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