Fish farming is very lucrative and slightly challenging. you need proper equipment, knowledge of farming techniques, good stock, quality feed and good water supply. Like any business the farmer faces major challenges. Here are 10 major challenges facing catfish farmer.
1 Adequate space
Adequate space is a major challenge for fish farmer especially commercial farmers. Commercial fish farmers need lots of space for their ponds, outhouse and generating set.
They also need space to grow and expand including diversification into other branches of farming. Good space is very expensive especially if you want to situate your farm within the metropolis.
Most farmers try to conquer this challenge by investing in landed space outside major towns. The reason is the land is cheaper and they can get a larger expanse of land.
In developed countries challenges facing catfish farmer is electricity because they still experience extended periods of blackouts. The African farmer needs to invest in a dedicated generating set to function effectively.
The current is needed to power the pumping machine when he needs to change the water in his ponds. Some farmers face this challenge especially when the choose to situate their farmers outside town.
3 Water source
The type of pond you have depends on the availability of water. Catfish needs lots of clear clean water and the fish farmer needs to build a borehole. Borehole doesn’t come cheap but investing in one is the smartest choice.
4 Buying fish feed
Fish feed in 2015 goes for about 25 dollars [N5000] per 15kg bag. Fish feed takes up 75 percent of the total budget when growing catfish.
You can buy in bulk in anticipation of the growth rate and size of fish food. Fish food prices fluctuate according to the source availability and quality.
A major challenge catfish farmer’s face is adequate security for the fish. If you locate your farm in remote area there is a likelihood that thieves can steal your fish.
You need to hire a security man to look after your fish in such locations. If your farm is in you compound then the risk greatly reduces and you might not need added security.
6 Perimeter fencing
Perimeter fencing is very important when starting a fish farm. The fence keeps out intruder including wild animals that might harm your fish. It also adds to security making it harder for thieves to steal your stock.
7 Good quality stock
The farmer needs to invest in fast growing quality stock. The only way to do this is to buy from reputable breeders which improve your profit margin. Slow growing fish are a nightmare and you lose lots of money feeding them.
8 Dedicated workforce
A challenge is having a dedicated workforce to manage your fish farm. Well tendered fish grow fast and they need good feeding, healthcare and prompt water changes.
Investing in a good workforce especially large catfish farmer is very important.
9 Market outlet
Finding a good market for your produce requires much time and dedication. Only established farmer with a steady customer base have conquered this challenge. Small fish farmers need to invest their time and money finding suitable outlets for their fish produce.
10 Diseases and treatment
Catfish are subject to different diseases like other living things. There are many diseases caused agents like bacteria, fungi and parasites.
Diseases should be treated promptly with the help of vet doctors. Most fish diseases can be treated through the use of antibiotics and other drugs.
Pond maintenance is also important to ward off certain diseases. Fish farmers should be vigilant and any infected fish is taking out and placed in a sickbay.