Challenges of Starting a Fish Farming Business

Fish farming is a very lucrative business and a profit maker all year round. The reason for its profitability can be attributed to the fact that it is a food and it is always in demand. In fact, the demand for fish is growing every year.

However, there are certain challenges commercial fish farming entrepreneurs face worldwide and these challenges are also peculiar to all branches of fish farming like Tilapia fish farming, Catfish farming, etc. So regardless of whether you are in Ghana, India, Pakistan, Canada, USA, South Africa, etc.; you will surely find this information useful.

  • Fish farming is capital intensive.
  • It is labour or management intensive
  • Cannibalism and high mortality rate of fingerlings
  • Pest and predators
  • Lack of market orientation

There is a ready market for fish both locally and internationally but most fish farmers have the habit of looking for customers to purchase their fish when the fish are matured for sale. Now this poor orientation and lateness in scouting for customers makes the marketing of fish too poor.

As the fishes keep on feeding, the pond gets to its maximum loading point and the fish will stop growing. The more the fishes stays in the pond after they have stopped growing, the lesser the profit margin. So it is advisable for fish farmers to always begin scouting for customers as early as possible before the fishes mature for sale, so that it will be easier for them to market the fishes without incurring any extra cost or loss.

  • Lack of suitable farm site

Inability to acquire a suitable location for their fish farm is another challenge of establishing a fish farm successfully. A good fish farm should have available water supply, good soils for pond construction (e.g. rocky places), accessibility to markets and supplies, etc.

  • Lack of proper planning and design

Lack of proper planning and design is another factor facing fish farmers in developing countries and other regions. This factor can affect the success rate of your fish farm. Ponds that are not erected properly, may result to leakage and lot of unplanned expenses; which reduces your profit potential.

  • Poor investment planning

Most consultants and newspaper reports indicate that fish farming requires little investment and output is in large profits but the truth is that it is not so. Many farmers also have the mind-set that to become a commercial fish farmer, you have to be big and acquire several big ponds.

Thus, they resort to constructing many ponds at a time, which affects their cash flow and tie down their capital. As a result of this, it takes some farmers long to start production while those that commence production may only be able to start-up with one pond after all the investment made.

  • Lack of technical experience

When it comes to fish farming, whether freshwater or salt water; some technicalities are involved. Therefore, getting the technical know-how or experience might prove difficult to the farmers especially those whose farms are located in rural areas.

Read more: How to Start a Fish Hatchery

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