Cost Of Starting A Fish Farming Business In Nigeria

People usually ask the cost of starting a fish farming business in Nigeria or how to effectively write a fish farming business plan. However, the cost to start a fish farm will depend on so many factors which includes the size of the farm you want to start.

Generally, we always advice individuals who wish to venture into the business to start small and Learn The Secrets of Fish Farming Business from the scratch to expand as time goes on. This includes;

Learning the aforementioned is very important because it will help to determine the cost of growing your fishes from fingerlings to table size. This is because improper disease management can cause mortality and stunted growth. Also, poor calculation of feeding, rationing or nutritional value of feed given to your fishes will affect the cost that goes to waste of feed or poor development.

However, if your interest is just to know how much to budget for starting a fish farming business in Nigeria, I will give a run down of what it will cost you to start a small scale fish farming business.

Fish farming business is a very lucrative business making so many people rich especially in Africa. The popularity of barbecue Fish in Nigeria has made fish consumption to skyrocket. Virtually, every street in Nigeria now have a barbecue spot. Therefore, the demand for fish is outweighing the supply and Hence, the need for more farmers, to meet the demand for fish.

In Nigeria, fish consumption is on the high side; current consumption figures of about 1.5 million metric tons. With an annual fish import figure of about 700,000 (FAO, 2000) metric tons, Nigeria remains the highest importer of fish and fishery products in Africa.

Factors That Affects Cost of Fish Farming Business

As i mentioned earlier, the cost of setting up a fish farming business will be dependent on so many factors according to the choice of the farmer. Therefore, you can tailor down these factors to meet your pocket estimate for the farming business. Some of the factors includes;

  1. The type of pond: There are many types of pond you can use to start your fish farming business which includes; Concrete ponds, Earthen ponds, plastic and Tarpaulin ponds. However, each of these pond types have their own advantages and disadvantages. But, when considering to start a fish farm, its better to start with Tarpaulin or Earthen pond to test run the business first. Notwithstanding, earthen pond is best located and cheaper at a place where there is a natural source of water supply.
  2. Fish feed type: The type of feed you will use will determine the cost of raising your fish to table size. In that regards, you can choose to feed your fishes natural foods, supplementary or commercial feeds. On the contrary, most farmers learn to produce their own fish feeds to reduce the cost on buying feeds.
  3. Type of fish farming business: Many farmers specialize in hatching and production of fingerlings, others buy fingerlings and grow to table size while some will grow fingerlings to Melange (300g to 500g) stage before selling it to Smoked Fish Business merchants or to Barbecue sellers. The quantity of feed to grow the fishes depends on the stage you want to grow your fish and hence, affects the budget cost.
  4. Size of intended farm: The size of the fish pond, the number of fish to stock and the type of facility affects the estimated cost of starting a fish farming business. In other words, the cost of staff employment, mechanization and the cost of pooling all the other factors of labor will depend on the size of the fish pond. But, in this post, i will give a breakdown of starting a small scale fish farming business. You will expand when at least you have tried and learnt the basics of fish farming business.
  5. Assets in place: This includes the land for the business, source of water supply (if free or paid for), maybe old plastic tanks you can use as improvise e.t.c. Therefore, it is very important to locate your pond to a place there is a borehole or natural water supply to eliminate the cost of sourcing water for your pond.

Estimated Cost of Starting a small scale Fish Farming business

In this post, we will estimate the cost of running two branches of fish farming business which includes; Fish production to table size and production of fingerlings.

1. Small Scale Fish Production to Table size

Construction of 15x 15ft Concrete Tank for Table Fish Production.


  • 200 No 9’’ block @ N130 = N26,000.00
  • 15 bags of cement @ N1,800/bag = N27,000.00
  • 1 lorry load of sand @ N8000/load = N8,000.00
  • 1 lorry of Gravel @ N10,000/load = N10,000.00
  • Workmanship =N15,000.00

TOTAL = N86,000.00

On the hand, instead of constructing a concrete pond, you can get a plastic tank that can house 1,000 fingerlings at the cost of N12,000.

Note: the cost of constructing your pond is a fixed asset. Meaning, in subsequent batches of production, this cost will not come up. However, you can consider installing a collapsible or plastic tank to save cost of pond construction. But, concrete pond has more advantage in terms of durability, in case you want to stay in the business for long.

Alternatively, you can excavate the soil to construct Earthen pond which also has its own and disadvantages over the concrete type of Pond.

Read More:  Pond Construction and Types – Advantages/Disadvantages

Operational Requirements

  • 1000 Juveniles @ N25/juvenile = N25,000.00
  •  At 10% Mortality, total no for Juvenile to be fed will be 900
  • A juvenile is expected to consume feed worth N180 to get to table size, total cost of feed = N162,000.00
  • Pumping machines and accessories = N30,000.00

TOTAL = N217,000.00

Expected Income

Average expected weight after Harvest is (800g) at 5 Months

Table size fish at that size can be sold between N800 to N1000.

Total income = 800 x 900 = N720,000.00

Meaning that the farmer can do this 2 times a year and earn N720,000 x 2 = N1,440,000

Note: As the farm grows and you stock more fishes, so is the revenue increasing. Also, you will get to learn other secrets of the business e.g. Why some Farmers prefer to sell their fishes at Melange size.

2. Small scale Fingerlings Production


  1. 2,000 litres capacity over-head PVC tank = N 35,000
  2. Plumbing materials & Workmanship = N 10,000
  3. Plastic Incubator = N20,000
  4. Water pumping Machine and Accessories = N30,000
  5. Breeding materials (Ovaprin & other) = N15,000
  6. Brood stocks (30kg @N1500/kg) = N45,000
  7. 4 Nos of 8ft x 4ft x2ft Wooden Trough OR 3 hollow block tank of 10ft x 8ft =N80,000
  8. Logistic/feeding = N10,000

TOTAL = N245, 000

Expected Returns

1. Each of the wooden troughs is expected to give 5,000 fingerlings
in 6 weeks.
2. The 4 trough will produce 20,000 fingerlings every 6 weeks.
3. 6 cycles of production is expected to be carried out in a year, therefore the total production in a year 120,000 fingerlings
4. At N25/fingerling the gross income will be =N 3,000,000 : 00

However, fingerlings can be sold at N15, N20 or N25 depending on the size.

In summary, Fish farming business is very lucrative if you are able to learn all you need to know about fish farming to minimize mortality and improve profits. However, when considering the cost or estimate of starting a farm, you will consider the assets in place and how to improvise to suit your pocket.

Meanwhile, with N200,000 you can start a fish farm that will yield N1. 4 million in a year and more as the business grows.

Conclusively, 200k is money we spend on just phones and still complain of being jobless or rather waiting for the government. You can take that bold step and start a business today. or try to learn a skill.

You can also read: 11 Entrepreneur Skills to Learn that Pays in Nigeria.

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