DOUBLING INCOME THROUGH FISH FARMING
Unemployment has become the daily talk-about. Hardship, leading to the inability to provide food for the family has become most family’s daily challenge. Students are dropping out of school, and even pregnant women and children are starved. There is a high need for people to develop entrepreneurial skills that will earn them money and equally generate employment for others, to offset the hardship that is ravaging the country. Among these entrepreneurial skills, one can engage in is fish farming business.
Fish farming is the art of rearing and managing fish and other aquatic organisms under the control of man. Many species of fish exist in the natural aquatic ecosystems, and some are being domesticated by man as a source of food and a means of generating income. Fish farming is one of the most lucrative businesses one can venture into since it provides both money and food for the owner. Fish farming practices started in China, dating about 4000 years ago with Cyprinus carpio being recorded as the first fish to have been cultured under man managed ecosystem. Since then, many artificial methods have been adopted to rear fish by man. This method could come in the form of constructing ponds as an artificial environment for fish production or manipulating a natural ecosystem by creating a barrier for aquaculture.
TYPES OF FISH FARMING
Open system: Growing of fishes in a natural ecosystem but under the watch of man. In this type of system, water supply occurs naturally while food or feed supplement is done by introducing feed into the system; although sometimes occurs naturally when the fishes feed on other organisms present around them.
- Closed system: A closed system of aquaculture is a type of aquaculture in which the water used to raise fish is kept separate from the environment outside the system. In other words, it’s a system that is completely closed off from the natural environment. This can be achieved through the use of tanks, raceways, or other enclosures that contain the fish and the water they live in. Closed systems are often used for intensive fish farming, where a large number of fish are kept in a small area. This allows for a high degree of control over the environment, which can lead to increased efficiency and productivity. The environment where the fish is cultured in this system can come in the form of earthen ponds, concrete ponds, and recirculating ponds.
BASIC THINGS TO CONSIDER WHILE CHOOSING SITES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PONDS
To determine a suitable site for your pond constructions, it is important to consider the following factors: the topography of the site. Studies have shown that the best land shape to construct a pond is saucer or plateau-shaped land due to its cost-effectiveness in construction and water retention. Other shapes that exist include hilly and flat shape land.
Another thing to consider is the source of water and its quality. There should be adequate water supply for a source in which the fish can survive. Another thing to take into consideration is the soil texture of the soil where you want to construct the pond. The essence of this is to make sure the water retainability of the soil is very high. Many soil textures exist which include, clay, clay loans, silt loans, sand loans, Sandy soil, and others but the best to use is clay because it retains more water than textural classes.
DESIGN OF FISHPOND
The choice of the fishpond to be constructed depends on the purpose of the Farmer whether he wants to rear the egg to the fingerling stage and sell to other farmers who rear from fingerlings to table-size fishes. Or if the farmer is interested in rearing from egg to adult. From the above descriptions, there are three types of ponds: nursery ponds, rearing, and stocking ponds.
FACTORS THAT AID THE SMOOTH RUNNING OF FISH FARMING
The major concern of businesses is being able to make a profit and sustain the business. In fish farming, there are a few key things to keep in mind when trying to achieve those.
- Choosing the right species to grow: It is important to choose the right species of fish for your specific environment and needs. Different fish have different requirements for water quality, temperature, and other environmental factors. Other factors to consider while choosing the right species of fish to grow are that the fish must have high consumer’s demand, have a fast growth rate, and high disease resistance.
- Feed and feeding schedule: To have rapid growth of your stock, you must choose the right feed for your fish, and also consider the feeding schedule you adopt in feeding your stock. You must not allow your fish to go hungry, for this can hinder their growth, and reduce their market and your profit entirety. In terms of feed, there are many commercial feeds sold on the market with different formulations. While choosing the feed, you should be able to know the one with the correct formulation to suit the nutritional requirements of your stock and equally the one your stock will be craving for, to avoid wastage of feed and money as well. You can equally earn more profit if you can locally produce your fish feed with the right proportion of all the nutritional requirements of your stock. You can use locally available feed supplements to achieve it.
- Pond management and hygiene: To avoid losses and to increase profit in the fish farming business, you must be knowledgeable enough to manage the pond where you grow your fish. The water in the pond should not be allowed to get contaminated with pollutants; if contaminated, the water should be changed to avoid impairing the health of your stock. The pond should be constantly checked for leakages because when your pond is leaking, it reduces the water retainability of the pond and equally affects the life of the fish. When leakages are identified, effort should be made to patch them. The pond should be protected against predators, poachers, and vectors of diseases. Staff on the farm should maintain personal hygiene and make sure that environmental sanitation is taken care of by discharging waste in treated forms and ensuring that weeds are removed when necessary. Before the introduction of new stock or restocking of the pond with new stock, the pond should be washed and cleaned.
- Time consciousness: Time is the major factor that affects practically everything. You should be conscious of your time. Know when to introduce and sell your stock, when to feed the fish, and when to put and change the water. To run a profitable fish farming business, one should highly value documentation as this will help smooth running of the business.
All transactions made should be documented. Transactions like the money spent on purchasing feed, medications, staff payment, stock, etc. To be documented also is the number of fishes that are entering or leaving the farm, and dead casualties of the fishes. This record keeping will assist in price tagging of the fishes during sell, hence, making one skillfully assessing one’s profit and loss.
In conclusion, the fish farming business is a place to venture into. Because it can be started with water, fish, and feed and become financially independent, and equally create job for others.