12 Best Ways; How To Start A Catfish Farm In Nigeria And Make Money

how to start a catfish farm in Nigeria


Ready to learn how to start a catfish farm in Nigeria?

One of the most lucrative Agro-business in Nigeria is Fishery. While fishery is subdivided into different variations, Catfish Farming stands out as the best. 


Intend to start a catfish farm in Nigeria as a side business or you are going all-in? But you probably don’t understand nada about catfish farming. Or even still, you are already a catfish farmer but looking for a way to maximize profit in your business. If any of the above is you, then you need to take a closer look at this post. 


Catfish farming comes with its attendant issues, but with this post, you will be able to know how to counter them. 


A Quick Peek; How To Start A Catfish Farm In Nigeria

how to start a catfish farm in Nigeria

  • 12 biggest ways to make more money from Catfish farming in Nigeria.


  • How to start a Catfish farm in Nigeria. 


  • Catfish farming in tanks. 


  • The secret of Catfish farming. 


  • How profitable is Catfish farming? 


All the above-mentioned and some other topics will be discussed in this post. 


12 Biggest Way To Make More Money From Catfish Farming In Nigeria. 

how to start a catfish farm in Nigeria

Making money with catfish farming in Nigeria is not solely dependant on selling ready-made Catfish alone, there are other ways to make more money with catfish farming in Nigeria to wit; 


  • Hatching your eggs 


  • Sales of Juveniles 


  • Sales of table-sized Catfish 


  • Sales directly to customers 


  • Selling processed fish 


  • Exportation 


  • Consultancy 


  • On the farm tour 


  • Becoming a Farm Manager 


  • Training Workshop on the farm


  • Cold room storage 


  • Create and sell Business manuals 


Hatching Your Eggs 

One of the surest ways to cut costs and generate more revenue income from Catfish farming is hatching your eggs. An average female catfish can produce 90 – 100 eggs at once under the natural influence. While under artificial induction, they can largely produce 5000 – 10000 eggs at once. Why you should consider hatching your eggs is that it would save you money and also offers new business prospects of selling fingerlings. 


Sales of Juveniles 

Some catfish farmers don’t necessarily want the stress of rearing catfish from the egg stages to the juveniles stage. But believe in buying catfish when they are at the juvenile’s stage to rear till they are consumable. You can tap into this opportunity as raising a catfish from the fingerlings level to the adult-sized level is no hassle at all if you know your onions well. And requires no larger funds at all. Juveniles are of 8 – 9 weeks catfish. 


Sales of Table-sized Catfish

For a catfish to be regarded as an adult or table-sized fish it must weigh between 800 grams to 1kg. It takes 3 – 5 months to get your desired size though based on what you feed them, the water management, and your treatment. This is the area where many Catfish farmers found desirable because there is always a ready market for Catfish. 


Sales Directly To Consumers 

For a starter, you should sell your products in bulk to retailers. These are market women who invested in buying larger quantities of Catfish and selling back to individuals or outlets wanting the same. But you can make many profits if you sell directly to consumers, various outlets around you with the absence or help from retailers. 


The sole aim of retailers is to make more profit, capitalized on that, and sell directly on your farm or find someone to be your distributor to consumers. This should be properly carried out as mistakes could be fatal. Mistakes such as having a low market turnout, keeping fish longer than intended, disease or death encounter by an overpopulation of ponds. 


Selling Processed Fish 

Another way to make more money from catfish farming in Nigeria is by selling processed catfish. To avoid spoilage or wastage of unsold catfish, why not processed them? Smoking and drying of these catfish also add another taste to them and make them largely sought-after in the market. 



From North America down Asia to the Middle East down the Africa regions, catfish has always been an assortment to these people. Most of these countries also rear and cultivate catfish but can not equal how the same is being done in Nigeria. Follows the due process and export your processed and packaged catfish to other countries. This is another way to make more money with catfish farming while indirectly boosting the country’s economy. 



No one is more sought after than the one who is knowledgeable in a profession. How best can this be said well enough? As a successful and skilled catfish farmer, people will seek your germane advice on how to take care of their farm. By so doing, you charged them on advice given or help rendered. At this stage, you must not neglect catfish farming per se. The consultancy should just be a side gig to you because people did not know you by what you teach but by what you professed and seen to have done. 


On The Farm Tour 

Many prospective catfish farmers are always interested in visiting successful catfish farms to model after their modes of operations. You can leverage this by charging them a smaller amount relative to what they will learn on your farm. And even still, this could help boost sales as the most promising advertisement in the world is word-of-mouth referrals. If they are well satisfied with how your farm is structured, the neatness of your ponds and all, the quality of your catfish, trust me, it is an added advantage to you. 


Becoming A Farm Manager

Many investors have the money, are interested in catfish farming but don’t have the time to do so. You as a full-time catfish farmer could tap into this opportunity. You manage their farms or better still you make use of your empty ponds for their catfish cultivation. This way, you wouldn’t be torn between taking care of your farm and managing other people’s farms if both are at the same location. An added stream of income and a way to maximize your experience in the field. 


Training Workshop On The Farm 

We all want to learn from the very best in a field and catfish farming is no exception. If the words go round that you’re a successful catfish farmer and are organizing a workshop to train interested farmers. Be sure to know that people will come in throngs to learn from you. One, this is cheap labor because, during the training module, you will have to dedicate some farming workload to the trainee to access their proficiency all along. And also you get paid for the training even if it’s a stipend. 


Cold Room Storage 

Having a cold room on your farm could help mitigate loss. Wherein all unsold catfish are stored in an ice storage. Thus keeping the taste and the freshness of the catfish the same for a very long time to avoid spoilage. You can also dedicate some part of the cold room as a storage facility for other catfish farmers’ produce for a fee. Those who can’t necessarily afford to build a cold room themselves but could do so well in patronizing you. This will ensure you scale through losses while also ensuring another stream of income. 


Create and Sell Business Manuals 

In today’s digital age, it is very much easier to pass out information to other people around the globe. By creating how-to ebooks or manuals, you can sell to a large number of people interested in the niche. Creating picture books and Youtube videos on the process of cultivating a catfish farm will avail you as an authority in your niche. All these still go for a price. You just need to find an acceptable means to market your training or business manuals. And how people can navigate such. You can start by creating a business plan for fish farming in Nigeria and see if people wouldn’t buy the same. 


Summation Of How To Start A Catfish Farm In Nigeria

how to start a catfish farm in Nigeria

There are many prospective ways to make more money from catfish farming in Nigeria. Notwithstanding what niche you choose, ensure you are profound and learned in whatever way you choose to practice your catfish farming. This is what will set you apart as an authority or otherwise in the marketplace. In between, you can engage in all the above or chose one but in whatever way you choose to maximize profits as a catfish farmer in Nigeria, be indomitable in the same. 


How To Start A Catfish Farm In Nigeria

how to start a catfish farm in Nigeria

Starting a catfish farm in Nigeria is very easily understandable as it involves less manpower or large financial demands depending though on the scale of your planned farms. Most farmers start with a pond or tank in the backyard and gradually start growing to become a force to reckon with. While many commercial catfish farmers due to the availability of funds and expertise start their catfish farming on a larger scale. 


Irrespective of the scale of business or farming, there are some necessary things you must consider and follow to start a catfish farm in Nigeria, viz;


  • Land or Space requirements. 


  • Have a business plan. 


  • Understand the cost involved. 


  • Make a probable market survey. 


  • Building your catfish pond. 


  • Learn all about catfish farming. 


  • Water and feed requirements. 


  • Keep records. 


  • Proper medical treatment. 


Land or Space Requirements 

Depending on the scale of your intended catfish farm, you must ensure that the scale is proportionate to the size of the land. If it backyard catfish farm, make sure all clustered and harmful substances are cleared from the surrounding area. 


In the instance of a commercial catfish farm, ensure the land you buy, lease, or rent is adequate for what you plan. Make sure there is the availability of water as this is the most crucial demand. Nearer and accessible to the marketplace to ease the loggerheads of transportation. 


Have a Business Plan 

Having a business plan for catfish farming in Nigeria will ensure you take into consideration the nitty-gritty involves in the same. How to go about it, the scale at which you will practice the farming. Will it be sole catfish farming or will you add other business prospects along the way. And if yes, how to go about this should be clearly stated in your business plan. 


Most people barely understand that they need a business plan in an economy such as Nigeria only to later recur debts or countless losses in their endeavors.  Have a watertight business plan for catfish farming in Nigeria before jumping on the same. You can as well seek professional help on this. 


Understand The Cost Involved

The cost inventory from getting the land to keeping the catfish farm running should be properly and clinically made. This will ensure you stick to plans and also guide you against wasteful spending. Have the budget cost will let you know if you need a loan for your farm or you can do with what you have at hand. Procurement of necessary equipment needed for the smooth running of the farm. 


There is a relativity of cost based on location. You can’t expect to spend the same amount of money you will spend in Lagos for the same kind of catfish farm in Ibadan. The demands are different and the resources are limited too based on locality and environmental topography. 


Make a Probable Market Survey 

Before embarking on your catfish farm in a particular area, you should understand the demands in such said area. Fish aren’t durable well enough to last long out of water or pond, so you’ve got to ensure that there is a ready market in any location you plan on settling your catfish farm. 


Outlets such as hotels, clubs, restaurants, and market women who deal with sales and resales of catfish products should also be considered. 


Building Your Catfish Pond 

Here, there is no harm in seeking the assistance of professionals in this field. Your pond must be built following the scale and numbers of catfish to be stocked in such a pond. 


A professional will makes sure the pond is constructed in a way that will support the development of your catfish with no problems at all. The surface of the floors, the size to avoid overpopulation, the depth of the pond allow easy mobility. All these are necessary to the success of your catfish farm against countless losses or setbacks. Ensure proper catfish pond management


Learn All About Catfish Farming

True knowledge is power. To scale through as a successful businessman, you must understand the how’s of your competitors. You must understand the market way of your niche. You must be regarded as an authority in the niche you belong to. Read, learn, attend workshops on catfish farming. Engage in discussions needed to hasten the growth of your catfish farm. 


You can’t be a successful catfish farmer if you know next to nothing about catfish, the varieties of catfish out there, the stages of development, and the dos and don’t. 


If you can’t manage your farm accordingly due to workload or time constraints, hire a farm manager to supervise all the activities on the farm. But ensure, you know almost everything involves in catfish farming. 


Water and Feed Requirements

Sometimes the water requirements on your farm will be surpassed what a well can provide. So, you will need a borehole to provide the needed water. 

But to dig a borehole, you need the confirmation of the Nigeria Water Resources. 


The pond piping construction for the water outlet and inlet is one of the most important things to consider when starting a catfish farm. The PH value of the water must be such that it equals the natural habitats of fish. 


How Catfish Gain Weight?

What you give your catfish will determine the rate at which they grow up. The feed can be life starter feed, boiled egg yolks, baits, worms, maggots, poultry offal, pig blood, smaller fish, extruded fish meal, proteins concentrated feed depending on the stages and growths of the catfishes. 


Keep Records. 

Records keeping is very essential to your catfish farming as this will project new ways of doing things in the nearest future. It would also ensure that product sales avail room for profits. 


Keeping records of daily farm improvement will ensure that there is proper monitoring of your farm. And in the instances of lapses due to bad judgment or mistakes, future occurrences can therefore be evitable. 


Proper Medical Treatment

Disease and infections are inevitable in catfish farming. How you respond to the same will determine the effects and consequences of such an infection. 


An infection could be caused by bacteria, fungi, the acidity of the water, and others. To understand the sign of a possible disease, you must be vigilant and extra careful on how a catfish act. Swollen belly, redbelly, swimming sideways, floating on their back could be a sign of infestations. 


You must respond immediately to any telltales by first separating an infected fish from the other and also by seeking medical assistance. Catfish pond management is essential for successful catfish farming. 


How To Start A Catfish Farm In Nigeria In Tanks.

Those who couldn’t afford larger or commercial-sized fish farming but interested in catfish farming can do so by engaging in the same in their backyard with the use of tanks instead of ponds. Ready-made tanks make it easier for smaller-scale catfish farming with a lesser cost of production. 


For catfish farming in tanks, you must ensure the following; 


  • Firstly build a sturdy platform makes with blocks and cement. Strong enough to withstand the weight of water and fish combined. It must be a little high also. 


  • Erect your already made tanks on the platform. 


  • Have a plumber fix an inlet and outlet water piping system preferably at the bottom of the tank for the outlet and the top of the said tank for inlet water. 


  • Control of outlet pipe to ensure ease passage of dirty water out of the tanks. 


  • Stock your tanks with your preferred choice of catfish. 


  • Ensure there is more free space for mobility to avoid overpopulation and outright extermination of your catfishes. 


  • Take proper care of the tank to avoid fungal infestations. 


The Secret of Catfish Farming.


There is no secret anywhere. Do not be deceived by those who sell or project information on “the secret of catfish farming” here and there as most might be fraud or full of misinformation. The largest fish farm in Nigeria also starts from somewhere. 


The only secret to successful catfish farming is ensuring you follow all the necessary procedures stated up there on how to start a catfish farm in Nigeria. If all the above are done well, be sure to hold the all-time secret of catfish farming at your fingertips. 


NB: the very secret is experience. 


How Profitable Is Catfish Farming?

Depending on the scale of the farm and how well your catfish gain weight. Catfish farming is very profitable in this country and the Agribusiness alike only to be rival by Tilapia fish farming


It is also relative based on the location, you can’t compare the profitability of fish farming in Port Harcourt with that of Lagos State. Demands also have a play in this. 


Frequently Asked Questions And Answers On How To Start A Catfish Farm In Nigeria


How much can you make selling catfish?

Depending on the size of your farm, you can make at least #100,000 to 10 million.  


How much profit does a fish farmer make?

We should be talking in thousands and millions of Naira. 


What is the most profitable fish to farm?

Catfish farming, followed by Tilapia fish farming


How do you start a catfish farm?

By taking closer looks at this post and the topics discussed above. 


How much are catfish worth?

Depending on the size, a table-sized catfish can sell for 1,500 to 2000 naira each. 


Can you raise tilapia and catfish together? 

You shouldn’t do so. Tilapia fish cannot withstand the water requirement of Catfish and as such will be akin to silliness rearing both together in the same pond. 


Can I raise catfish at home? 

Sure, you can in a smaller pond or fish tanks. 


What is the easiest fish to farm?



How do you make catfish grow faster? 

How your catfish gain weight is dependent on what you feed them. You can try out an extruded fish meal or highly concentrated protein feeds.


Do fish farms make money?

If fish farms don’t make money, there wouldn’t be many fish farms still out there. 


How many fish can you have in a 1-acre pond? 

400 to 600 depending on their size. 


Is catfish farm profitable?

Yes, they are. 



I hope you found this post “how to start a catfish farm in Nigeria” educative enough. This post should not be solely taken as a guide to starting your catfish farm in Nigeria, though extensive and well detailed. You should seek more professional help on this. 


The largest fish farm in Nigeria did not become the largest overnight, it takes expertise and proper management. Follow due process first before asking about catfish farm profit per acre. This is not baseless though, but you must first put some structure into place before thinking about outrageous profits. Be an authority in the field and you will make more profits than your competitors.

Leave a Comment