Fish farming, no doubt, is a lucrative venture with ever growing market within Nigeria and a greatly
untapped market internationally.
I have been in the business of raising fishes for some time now, and I would like to share my little knowledge on the easiest way someone with little capital can engage in profitable fish farming without having to break the bank.
Running a highly profitable fish farm involves good thinking and the ability to make smart decisions that can help to save you costs. It starts with the choice of fish pond, which I am going to dwell on in this article.
Over the years (hundreds of years I guess), various types of fish ponds have evolved with newer types having improvements over their predecessors.
Earthen pond used to be the main deal, but it had limitations that needed to be done away with.
It easily got flooded from rains or from river overflow (for those sited at river banks).
Also, since earthen ponds are difficult to site in enclosed locations, owners suffered losses from poachers and thieves.
Concrete ponds came onboard and became quite popular for use in rearing fishes.
They could be constructed within the owners living compound, thereby reducing the risk of losses due to theft and poaching.
Since most of them are constructed above the ground, they don’t get easily flooded from rains.
But again, concrete ponds still had some challenges associated with them.
One is that they are expensive to construct.
Second is that a little mistake in the construction can easily lead to cracks and leakages that will jeopardize the high capital investment. Maintenance of such leakages can be a bit costly.
Concrete ponds, by nature, involves some construction that should last long-term, so this makes them out of reach of tenants who live in rented apartments (as only very few landlords, if any, would entertain such kind of structures).
Another issue has to do with immovability of concrete ponds. If for any reason the owner wants to move, there is not much option left that breaking down the structure (thereby losing the investment).
To tackle some of the challenges with concrete ponds, plastic ponds evolved and were soon followed by the mobile tarpaulin fish ponds.
One major difference between plastic and mobile tarpaulin fish ponds is in the price.
Tarpaulin ponds are a lot cheaper than plastic ponds (like those from GeePee, Hartt, etc).
For example, while N75,000 can only get you a 4000 litre capacity plastic pond (GeePee) as at present (August 2018), you can set up a tarpaulin pond of about 11,326 litres from Benuwatts with same amount.
Another difference or area where tarpaulin ponds have an edge over plastic ponds is in their portability (comparative ease of collapsing and moving them around) and also in the surface area available for oxygen exchange (which greatly enhances the growth of the fishes).
You can collapse the components of a tarpaulin pond, move and easily set them up in a desired location – be it your free farm land (they are very suitable for large scale fish farming), backyard or any space in the compound, living room or even in your bedroom (as far as you have enough ventilation there for the fishes).
However, there is a little twist to using tarpaulin ponds.
Like is typical of Nigeria, any good product soon gets overrun by imitations peddled by desperate and unruly individuals.
The pioneer of the tarpaulin fish pond technology is Benuwatts Company Limited (to the best of my knowledge). I knew about their reinforced tarpaulin ponds since year 2012.
But of recent (from around late 2016), lots of people have been flooding the market with fake tarpaulin ponds and with that have come lots of complaints about tarpaulin ponds.
So to solve this problem of counterfeit, Benuwatts went online with their reinforced tarpaulin, so that customers all over Nigeria can simply go to their website, place order and have the genuine reinforced tarpaulin delivered to their location.
In conclusion, using mobile tarpaulin fish ponds is the way to go if you want to run a profitable fish farm. But that is only if you buy the genuine tarpaulins.