There are so many information on the internet on how to start fish farming in South Africa but few are detailed enough to really assist aspiring fish farmer to get started. I will be endeavor to make this article as detailed as possible and hope that other experienced fish farmer will add to it as we try to answer people’s questions by commenting.
One of the most popular agribusiness in South Africa is fish farming and for good reasons. Gone are the days when the only means of getting fish is by catching it in the local rivers and ponds through trial and errors. Today, the modern farm practice has made it possible to grow fish in the farms and control the input.
1. Begin with a small budget
Starting with a limited budget will benefit you in two ways:
- It will assist you in determining whether or not fish farming is the right business for you: This is critical because it is unwise to enter any business without conducting thorough research, planning, and budgeting first, as is the case with most startups.
- It will help you gain confidence and open your eyes to the realities of the marketplace: Another challenge that fish farmers have faced is marketing. Yes, there is a readily available market, but getting into the market and making a lot of profit requires a lot of techniques and connections, which are not always available (we will get to this)
2. Take your time
If you want to be a successful fish farmer, patience is a virtue you need to cultivate. For the record, if you lack patience, please do not pursue a career in the fish farming industry.
3. Don’t seek profit immediately
Profits will not be realized immediately, as is the case in most businesses. It may take more than a year or two before you begin to reap the benefits of your investment, but it will come if you follow the advice in point number four.
4. Be prepared to put in long hours
Fish farming is, without a doubt, a simple endeavor, but it necessitates a commitment to hard labor. Especially in the area of networking and finding consumers for your fishes, you will need to be creative.
This is all you need to get started in the business of fish farming
Pond, fish species, water/drainage facilities, feed, and knowledge and experience
Based on your budget and investment portfolio, you can choose a Concrete Pond, an Earthen Pond, or Tarpaulin Tanks for your water storage needs. A fish expert will be required for the construction of both a concrete and an earthen pond, who will help a mason through the entire procedure.
Tarpaulin tanks are inexpensive and readily available on the market today. If you decide to use a tarpaulin tank, you must make certain that the water control structure on the tank is properly installed and functioning.
Species of Fish
Among the most widely cultured fish species in Africa are catfish and tilapia, which are two of the most popular. Before selecting a fish species for culture, conduct market research to determine whether or not people in your market environment will purchase the fish.
It is also necessary to describe potential competitors as well as potential buyers, since this will aid you in developing a foundation for your marketing plan.
Once you’ve decided on a species based on market research, you may move on to the next step, which is to purchase juvenile fish from any reputable fish farm or through the services of a fish farming consulting firm.
Water/Drainage System Installations
The fact that fish live in water means that, in order to produce high-quality stock after 4 months or longer depending on your culture cycle, you must have a good water and drainage system for your fish pond.
The most significant difficulty facing African fish farmers is the availability of feed. The majority of the commercial feed we have is quite expensive, and the return on investment after each breeding cycle is consistently minimal.
So, in addition to commercial feed, you will need to consider how to produce your own feed as you proceed in your fish farming endeavors if you want to reap the greatest possible benefit from your endeavors.
Expertise and/or practical experience
Obtaining the necessary knowledge, whether via research or through refresher classes, will be quite beneficial. I usually recommend to new fish farmers that they seek the guidance of an experienced fish farmer or an expert fish scientist as a consultant. Any of them has the potential to be a tremendous asset to the farm.
The following stage will consist of filling the ponds or tanks with water to the desired level, stocking the juveniles, and managing the pond environment.