When you are considering starting a new business, agriculture and food-related business are probably the first ones to jump to your mind. Foodstuff is something people will always buy, so it’s not the question of whether you should start an agricultural business but which business to choose and how to start it. Here is how to start a fish hatchery business in Nigeria.
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1. What is a fish hatchery?
A fish hatchery is one of the most effective and popular ways to produce fish in a controlled environment. Fish hatchery works in several stages. First, you collect the eggs from the broodstock. Next, the eggs develop into larvae, then into fry, and finally take the form of fingerlings. Finally, you can sell the grown-up fish or fingerlings to other people or use some of them as new broodstock if you plan to grow your fish production business.
2. 5 steps to your own fish hatchery business
When you look at the big picture, launching a fish hatchery business is not that different from any other agricultural business, but there are also a few specific things to know about it. Here are the 5 steps you need to take to start your fish hatchery business from scratch.
1. Get some training
If you don’t have any real business experience, let alone fish-related experience, launching a business from scratch can be challenging. The most effective way to get the knowledge you need is to join an existing fish hatchery business as a trainee or manager. That way, you will see how this business works inside out and will be able to avoid a lot of mistakes that can potentially ruin your business.
2. Find suitable land
A fish hatchery business can be successfully launched on any type of land and it’s an environmentally friendly business. The two most important parameters are the size and the location of the land. For a small fish hatchery startup, half of a land plot should be enough. As for the location, pick whatever option fits your budget and is not too far from your home, so that you don’t need to waste hours commuting there every day. A water supply is also an essential parameter: preferably, you need to dig a borehole, but fresh water from the river is also suitable.
3. Install the ponds
In a fish hatchery farm, ponds and tanks are the central infrastructure item. It’s best to hire a professional engineer to construct them for you, but if you have a fish business owner you know you may ask them for specifications and guidelines. The ponds should come with proper drainage and you should also construct a secure plumbing system from the water source to the overhead water tanks and then to the ponds. At this point, you need to connect the borehole to the rest of the water supply chain.
4. Buy juvenile fish
A fish hatchery business starts with juvenile fish. The easiest way to get the quantity you need is to buy them from a reputable farm. Look up the farm’s record to make sure you are buying healthy stock. You will also need to decide what kind of fish you want to breed. The two most popular options in Nigeria are catfish and tilapia – for everything else, you will need expensive specialized equipment and often specific water composition.
5. Market your business
The list of potential customers for a fish hatchery farm is nearly endless, you just need to find your perfect buyer. As a fish hatchery businessman, you can sell fish to markets, supermarkets, grocery stores, restaurants and hotels, frozen food manufacturers, or even export your product overseas. However, the sensible thing here is to start on a local scale. Advertise your business online, reach out to potential customers directly, and make sure the quality of your product speaks for itself.
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