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Cost of starting fish farming in Nigeria

Cost of Starting Catfish Farming Business; you’ll get detail cost of starting fish farming as you read down. So, read on!

I don’t know where you are reading this article from; however, I want you to understand that economic conditions and environment differ significantly.

COST and requirement of starting fish farming

You can be reading this article from Lagos Nigeria, some other persons can be reading it from Imo, PH, Ekiti, Kano, Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Bayelsa, Ibadan, Osun, Oyo etc. and even countries outside Nigeria. They may think the cost I have given here will be same.

You can’t expect the cost of land to build pond (for instance) in Lagos to be the same with that of Oyo.

You can’t also expect the cost of labour in Akwa Ibom state to be the same with the cost of labour in Kano?
Even some other materials you might expect to be of the same price are not (even in the same city). The best way to do this is to move out and ask questions.

You`ll definitely get the cost of things you need to get started in your locality.

Things needed to start Fish Farming business

If you`re planning to start the fish farming business in a medium or large scale, you may need;

  • bole hole,
  • tank,
  • fish pond,
  • dependable electricity to pump water
  • And some staff to work with you.
  • Business plan

See the best of our sample business plan: Fish farming business plan, you need it to get started in Fish farming business.

You will also have to get the price of the feeds you`ll need for feeding your catfish.

The major reason why I usually avoid discussing about the cost on this site is because cost, price or profit is all relative.

For example, the amount you will need to purchase a hectare of land to construct a fish pond in Abuja can comfortably take care of all your cost in certain part of Oyo state and the price you will sell an average catfish in Lagos may be what you will sell two in Kano.

You will see that it does not make sense to jump into conclusion that certain amount of money is what you will need to start a catfish business or that certain amount is what you will make.

The best way I think will be to go out and investigate both your cost of starting the cat fish business and your likely profit.

How much can a fish pond be constructed in your locality?

How much it will take you to get a bole hole done?

How much can you get a tank to store water?

Then, how much can you buy 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 1000 etc., catfish fingerlings?

How much do you need to feed 1000, 500, 400, 200, 100 etc fingerlings to jumbo size?

You have to know whom your competitors are and how to win there in the business.


You can start your cat fish business where the cost of labour is low so as to sell at competitive price?

Don`t try building your fish pond yourself, if you don`t know how to do so.
The catfish pond should be standard. Consult some nearby fish farmers who have ponds for advice.

Even if every other thing is alright, a bad pond can kill your profit.
Catfish is freshwater animal. Poor quality water alone can kill your efficiency. The best sources of water for fishing business are borehole and river. Rain water and tap water from treated source is not good for your fish.

Check acidity of your water. Acidic water is bad for fish. To check this, you will need to buy a PH meter, calibrate it, read your water and see the acid level.

Your fish must be well feed. Your feeds should contain proper nutrients like lysine, arginine and methionine. Some farmers try using local meals to feed their fish. This may be good provided those meals contain the essential fish nutrients. You have to increase your fish feeds as they grow, or otherwise, they will suffer malnutrition.

Cost of Catfish farming in Anambra State Nigeria: A Case Study

Note: this article is first published in 2016. A feasibility study carried in Anambra state and prepared for a catfish farm of capacity is 10,000. Fingerlings were of high breed catfish. The expenses from pond construction to marketing are taken into consideration.
The farm is to have 10 concrete ponds of flow through system and each pond is to contain 1,000 stocked catfish.

Cost of constructing each fish pond is as follows;

Each pond is 3m x 2.5m by 1.4m; each pond consumes 210 blocks and each bag of cement for 30 blocks. Hence 210 x 10 = 2,100 blocks. 2,100/30 = 70 bags of cement needed. Hence cost =70 x 200 = 140,000 naira.

4trips of sand used = 8000 x 4 = 32,000 naira.
2trips of gravel = 32,000 x 2 = 64,000 naira.
Cost of labour = 180,000 naira.
Cost of plumbing (inlet and outlet facility) = 100,000.
Cost of bore hole = 500,000 naira.
Cost of treatment = 60,000.
Cost of high breed fingerlings 30×10, 000 = 300,000 naira.
Cost of feeding from day one to maturity stage is 200 bags of foreign feed = 1,000, 000 naira.

After the average weight of the fish was 1.7kg. And it was sold at 800 naira each. The output was 800 x 9800 fishes, 200 was lost due to mortality. So, 700 x 9800 gives 6860,000 naira.

To Summarise, total expenses = 2.236 million naira.
The gain = 4.624 million naira after six months of culture.

If you have questions or comment concerning Fish farming, you can use the comment box below.

See Now: Fish farming business plan sample. A Road Map to your success in fish farming business.

Good luck!

118 thoughts on “Cost of starting fish farming in Nigeria”

  1. pls i want to start my fish pond pls how many pond can a plot of land contain and how many bags of food will 5000 fishes take to the point of sells

  2. Isiaka Akinwunmi Idris


    Please do you have an updated version of this feasibility study for 2019 or 2020.

    Thank you.

  3. i love this article but pls its 2019, they should be an update on each level of expesise, and the acutal bags of fish feeds to feed 10000 fishes till maturity.
    And come to think of it whats the size of the pond on this site, advantages n disadvantages of using tiles to construct a fish pond and the cost estimate if tiles must be used.

  4. Please what is your feed conversion ratio(FCR). How can 200bags of 15kg feed for 10000 fingerlings give an average of 1.7kg catfish at maturity.? (200 x 15)/10000 =0.3kg for FCR 1:1. The highest feed to body wt. conversion ratio is 1;1.5. The highest body wt. we can get from 200bags of feed for 10000 stock is 0.45kg or 450g.

  5. Bros.
    I need your your assistance on how to do my first pond.
    Please I need analysis from the beginning to the end. And I want it to be under #8 million.
    I will fence the land also.
    The location will be Badagry Lagos state.

  6. Thank you for job well done,
    I have #300,000 and don’t know how to invest on the fish farming.
    I’m from Ekiti.
    I need your professional ideas because I’m a novice is the system, I just want to venture into the fish farming business.

    1. Hello Olugbenga Daramola,
      You can start with 30-50 fingerlings since you are new to this business. Look for an agric engineer that can construct a low cost concrete fish pond for you unless you have an alternative. You can consult people who are already into the fish pond business around you. The problem with Ekiti in fish farming business is water source. So, necessary consultation must be made before you start.

  7. Hi Emma, You And Your Team Are Doing A Great Job, Keep It Up. What Is The Size Of Land That Can Contain The Ten Concrete Pond And Other Facilities For The Pond. TKS

    1. Hello Emma. Thankyou very much for this wonderful write up. I want to start with 2000 juvenile and everything is setup but kindly tell me how many bags of feed do I need to feed 2000 juvenile for 5 months and at what stage can I introduce local feed to catfish

  8. I stand to be corrected, 200 bags will never be enough for 10000 fingerlings till maturity stage, with that you can never make 1.7,i stocked 5000, currently have 2700 (sold 2300 last month) at their 4th month, so I know what they eat daily.

  9. Hello, Emma.
    This is a great topic, I read though the post and comments, and I must confess I’m overwhelmed.
    However, can I publish this on my blog? Ofcourse referencing you website as the source.
    Kindly reply.

  10. how to start fish farming in nigeria

    This is a truly comprehensive guide. Could you update it please? as some of the info are truly old. Thanks

  11. am very happy to read this article,am been try for long to know more about but fortunately today I get it here please can I do this with 500k just to start somewhere I half plot of land in mowe but d place in is not fenced yet can u bail me out

    1. Yes, you can start in a low scale with that amount but for security purpose, you need to fence the land. So, if you can find a way to fence the land , you can start with that amount.

  12. Hi,

    I want to make a business proposal and I want it to be farming related. Do you reckon fish farming is advisable?

    Kind Regards

  13. Hi, please I will like a break down of cost from start to finish and how many months do I need to grow the fish assuming I have all the structures in place. Thank you.

  14. Hello
    my name is Caleb U. I am a graduate from the University of Agriculture, I studied fisheries and aquaculture. currently am a consultant here in Abuja and I run a tutorial class on fish farm business. this write up made here is well informed but that is when all things are put in place.

    I can also give assistant here too if you need it, reach me on

  15. Nice Write up. But i think you need the profit margin. It looks outrageous and unattainable.

    Please can you enlighten me on the risks in this business of fish farming.

    Many thanks

  16. i’ll like to know if there is market for producing mature fish. if i can produce 50000 fishes will i be able to sell them all?

  17. is there a high demand for catfish… if i produce 10000 fishes and cant sell them, of what value is this business?

  18. Pls how much will be enough to feed 100000 fingerlings till they reach minimum of 1.7kg…..Using earthen ponds….God bless

  19. Nice one mr Emma, I am writing from Benue where’d the wheather get very hot, how can I contact you for detail information on the fish farm, bcos I am seriously interested and have no knowledge of the business.

  20. nice write up, pls can 200,000naira be enough for 1000 fingernails, i hav a half plot of land in lagos@ifako, well with pumping machine and tank and i’will like to start with tarpauline pond, can the money do something?

  21. Is a great write up n very helpful.. .to me business is all abt risk.. For anyone to make it in our world today is a risk.. His writings r great n ll really help a lot, at list u ll kw watsup abt it all.. Cheers. Thanks

  22. Greetings,
    Having gone through the message I learnt that u can start up with little or nothing provided u have the necessary things on ground, pls my question is? Do I need to text the temperature of water running from bohole and secondly how long can catfish be cultivated, thanks

  23. I marvel most times I read an articles on catfish farming. The way these self professed business men mislead readers(aspiring entrepreneurs) is intriguing.

    Please, it’s not as simple as Emma has put it. The profit level is not as high also. PLEASE!!! There is a lot of hard work involved.

    Did you notice the so called profit figure of #4m(in less than 6months) had some issues?

    Let’s see them….
    1. The cost of land was omitted.
    2. The cost of labour in managing this size of farm
    3. Miscellaneous expenses.

    …and lastly, which is most important is the AVAILABLE MARKET. You could end up getting your fishes to 1.7kg but what’s the use if you can’t sell all? even if you eventually do, you need to feed the fishes everyday while you sell gradually? That would also cost you.

    It’s a nice write up with good intentions anyway.



    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. Visit Us @ No 3, Okele Street, Ogbogbo Ijebu North/East, Ogun State.

    I’m a catfish farmer myself, hence, my floating and sinking pellets are properly prepared with a 58%(CP)crude protein good and well balance fish feed formulation. Available sizes are 0.2mm to 10mm suitable for juveniles to maturity, we supply Nationwide to your farm or doorstep at an affordable price of NGN 2,500 per 15kg.

    The so-called foreign feeds are just reaping fish farmers off, 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.

  25. thanks bro, m a serving corp member BT I ll like to own a fish pond when am done,I see t very lucrative n having done my feasibility study I realize there is always market for fish. I ll like to get more experience before venturing into t tho,pls sir is there a way u render such service ??n how can I get in touch with you.thanks

  26. Pls I want to know if 300k can feed 1000 fingerlings to 1kg each.
    Secondary is there any local feed that is still affordable and as well be good for fish growth?4.3

  27. Nice write up. please am trying to set one up in warri, but my issue is how to dispose the water whenever i want to change it. The area where i plan to set it up has no drainage system. i will also like to have your contact so we can discuss other issues.


  28. Thanks bor! I am looking at starting a fish farm in Ota Ogun state, I have three plots of land as the only form of capital, will it be wise to seek for loans! I really need your advise. Thanks.

      1. Thanks for the response! I have decided to start with the little I have after consulting a fish farmer, he said 200k will go a long way with 1000 fingernails. Then I can grow from there.

  29. Nice break down bro, I have fish pond in benin city, I got one big earthen pond dat can stock 20000 fingernails, 2 small earthen pond dat can 2000 each and 3 concrete pond dat can stock 2000 each , now I’m constructing a hatching pond with reservoirs and some Guinness tank for fingernails and philating machine for local feed too. So u can see I have been working hard to put things in order, wat I ll like to know is that spending 1m for foreign feed and 1m for local feed .if I want to stock 20000 fingernails what do you think we be the result of it , we the strategy of a combin feeding we be enough to get dem to the stand on 1.7kg .

  30. Hi, am intrested in fish farming what time of d year is best to start. Also r u available for consultation, training and supervion of my staff? From pond construction to harvesting. Cheers. Eddie Williams. Lincoln. U.K

      1. Hi Emma,
        You haven’t completely answered his questions. He asked what time of the year is best to start fish farming? You answered the second part of his question where he asked if you were available for consultations.
        As someone who do a lot of correspondence with customers, I always make sure I take my time to follow each questions and answer appropriately. You would be surprised how unprofessional some people deem it when you don’t answer their questions appropriately.

  31. I want to know the cost of tarpaulin ponds that can carry 1000 mature catfish. I want to start small with the tarpaulin ponds. And also current cost of good breed fingerlings. Thanks

  32. Am really impressed,I really want to do it but want to start small,pls. I want to use an artificial pond.And i want to start with 100 fingerlings

  33. Thanks for this information.
    How do you get your market (people that buy the grow out fish)?

    Again Is drying the fish more profitable and marketable than the fresh ones.

    1. Hello Chigozie,
      Go artisans close to you and find out how those in business sell the fish.
      You can also start ‘point-and-kill’ joint where you sell the fish.
      Fresh fish is more profitable.

  34. very informative and encouraging I will go into the business straight away. but earth pond and concrete pond which is better? cos I may decided to stop the business one day and convert the land to estate

      1. Who told you that? I can tell you that Dried fish is the best,just that you need to know the how and the necessary things to put in place

  35. Such an impress lecture,i wanted to start fish farming,i live in Benin precisely.trip of sand is 14000 naira.where to get these high breed finger nail or the one.
    ,i went into poultry,i almost loss my head..i will never risk my money in that business ..Thanks bos…

    1. Good morning MF Eugene, my name is Peter and I am planning on starting a fish farm in the same benin. Please I need your advice. Here is my number 07033992951
      My email is
      I have a lot to still pen down

      Please, Contact the admins before posting your phone number or email here!!!

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