Unlike many other businesses, income in catfish farming is periodical except you have a big farm where you can sell regularly (weekly/monthly). However, some of us that sell two to three times a year may need another source(s) of income to meet our countless needs that will not wait for long period of time to be met.
In my own opinion, as a small or large scale catfish farmer, you need another business that can support your interest in catfish farming. Besides, there is no crime in making more money especially in a business that compliments your main business. Also you will have something to fall back on when you meet with major challenges like glut in catfish market.
I have love introducing catfish farmers looking for other businesses to do to these complementary businesses:
- Selling of feed: as a catfish farmer, you cannot do without feeds for your fishes. Selling of feeds afford you the opportunity of cutting down your cost of production as well as making extra income through sales of feed to other farmers. If you will like to go into this business please consider any good locally made in Nigeria feeds. Farmers now prefer floating feeds produce locally due to their competitive price against imported ones. You can also venture into selling locally formulated sinking catfish pellets. From my observation, I discovered that some catfish farmers do not have time to spare in the feed mill. Helping them to solve their problems will put more money in your pocket.
- Feed Milling: owning a catfish feed mill is complimentary to your catfish farming business. It will get to a time in your catfish farming business that an external feed mill will not support expansion on your farm. Feed mill business is an alternative business a catfish farmer should venture into to earn more income firstly on bulk purchase of inputs, secondly to cut down the cost of feed production and lastly to earn external income from patronage of other customers.
- Catfish processing: oven-dried catfish is fast becoming a suitable substitute for stock fish due to increase in price of this type of fish in the market. As a matter of fact, oven dried catfish is more popular in the Nigerian market than fresh catfish due to its wide acceptability. It will not be out of place to start a business in catfish processing as a catfish farmer. I tell you, there is so much money to be made in catfish processing. You can produce for processing and also buy from other farmers. The waste generated from processing can also serve as input for your catfish feed. Processing of 1kg of fish costs as much as 140 Naira. What a good business!
- Kiosk Retail of fresh Fish: this is a new business idea that I believe will work for you. As against the old method of fresh fish retail, you can get a kiosk at a strategic location where you can retail catfish from your farm and other farms. The use of scale to measure your fish before sales is the major idea in this form of retail business. Creating a standardized mode of pricing will make more people believe in you over other traditional sellers. You can be sure of making more money on your catfish produce because you don’t have to sell at wholesale price but at retail price.
- Bus Logistics Business: if you have a direct link with any of the major buyers in any of Nigeria’s catfish market, owning a bus service is an added advantage. Transporting 1,250kg of fish from
South-West to Abuja market costs between 65,000 to 70,000 Naira. You can run this business alongside your catfish farming business. There is no better way to make extra money in catfish farming business than this. All you need do is to get a trusted driver to do the work for you. If you are interested in this business please contact me for more information.
- Work as a Middleman: there is always a need for an intermediary between catfish buyers and farmers. Working as a middleman affords you an opportunity of making as much as 10 Naira on every kilogram of fish sold. You can use your influence as a farmer to network other farmers as well as buyer from different part of the country.
- Consultancy Services: your knowledge and experience in catfish farming can help you to make extra income through rendering of consultancy services to new farmers at a very affordable rate. The more you help others to know the more you all gain.
- Selling of equipment and facilities: equipments and facilities like pumping machine, dragging net, covering net, shovel, fish plastic, sacks and the rest can also be a viable business to fetch more money to complement what you are earning in catfish farming.
- Pond Constructions: your experience in catfish farming qualifies as the best hand in pond construction. You don’t need to be a senior engineer before you supervise construction of earthen ponds. However, construction of concrete pond needs an expert.
- Broodstock Production: As you sell your fishes, you can put aside certain good quality fishes with exceptional traits in a separate pond to be sold as broodstock at latter days. A kilogram of broodstock could cost as much as three times the cost of normal table-size catfish.
- Catfish Cropping Business: it costs as much as 4,000 Naira to crop a full bus of 1,250kg of fish. It does not require special skill to crop in a normal pond. All you need is to get a cropping net and an assistant to help you in the business. You can crop as many as four buses in a day depending on your location and season.
- Importation of Catfish: dry and fresh catfishes can be exported to countries where Nigerians are found in good numbers. You can take advantage of your connection with blacks living abroad to start this business.
- You can also start a business of helping good breeders to get markets for their goods through your connection with grassroots farmers.