Starting a fish farming in Nigeria means you’ll want to educate yourself about the fish industry (in Nigeria and the rest of the world) so you could make informed decisions.
This blog post can help you get started on that path
(Note; if after reading some of these facts you’re interested in starting a fish farming business in Nigeria, you can visit one of our fish farms for practical training here)
9 Facts You Should Know Before Starting Fish Farming in Nigeria
- Nigeria spends $1.2bn to import fish annually
- China is the world’s biggest fish farmer.
- Nigeria is the third largest fish producer in Africa while Egypt is the largest.
- Fish Farming Contributes 3.24% of Nigeria’s GDP
- Nigeria needs extra 2.2 Million metric tons of fish to satisfy local demand
- Nigeria fish industry employs 10 million people
- The average Nigerian is 9kg deficit in fish consumption
- Fish is responsible for 16% of the entire world’s protein
- Farmed fish is a rich supplier of omega-3
1. Nigeria spends $1.2bn to import fish annually
According to this 2018 report by The Nigeria Tribune, Nigeria imports 2.2m tonnes of fish annually, mostly from China.
According to the Nigerian CBN governor in this 2019 Guardian publication, Nigeria spends about 1.2 Billion Dollars importing fish every year
Nigeria spends N140.6bn importing fish, and salt from China, Niger, and others in the first quarter of 2021 alone (according to Ripple Nigeria)
This information tells you two things;
First, there’s a huge deficit in the fish farming industry of Nigeria and more creative farmers are needed to satisfy the nation’s demand for fish.
(If you think you’re one of those creative entrepreneurs needed to revolutionize the fish farming industry in Nigeria, you can start by visiting our fish farm for free practical training here)
But there’s still one question you may want to ask; why do we import fish from China?
2. China is the world’s biggest fish farmer
Fish farming started in China about 2500 BC, when carp were raised in ponds and in artificial lakes created by receding floodwaters.
Since 2002, China has been the world’s largest fish exporter.
In 2005 for example, the world’s revenue from fish farming was placed at US$78.4 billion while China alone made US$39.8 billion (more than half) out of the total revenue.
Today, China is still the king of the fish farming business as it produces 62% of the world’s farmed fish production.
So, if you’re wondering why a lot of fish eaten in Nigeria was imported from China, it’s because the Chinese produce more fish than anyone else.
3. Nigeria is the third largest fish producer in Africa while Egypt is the largest
Fish farming isn’t doing so bad in Nigeria as we’re the third largest fish producer in Africa.
Nigeria’s total fish production per year is about 1 million metric tons (313,231 metric tons from aquaculture and 759,828 metric tons from fisheries) according to the world fish center
Fish farming started in Egypt about 2000 BC and in 1954 the country launched its full-scale commercial fish farm.
As of 2019, Egypt’s total fish farming production hits two million tons (according to Egypt Today) making it the largest fish producer in Africa
4. Fish farming contributes 3.24% of Nigeria’s GDP
According to the data by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for Q1 2021, the fish farming sector contributed 3.24% to the Nigeria’s GDP.
Even though the fish industry had a 5.68% contribution in Q2 2020, its overall contribution to the GDP in 2020 was 0.26% due to a-3.60% and -2.07% growth contribution in Q4 and Q3 of 2020
5. Nigeria needs extra 2.2 Million metric tons of fish to satisfy local demand
Earlier I told you that Nigeria is the third largest fish producer in Africa (with over 1 million tonnes of fish being produced).
If you’re planning to start fish farming in Nigeria, your initial reaction may be, “Oh, too many fish already”.
Fortunately, you’re wrong.
Nigeria is a country of 213 million people and fish accounts for about 40% of our protein intake.
With an average Nigerian consuming 13.3 kg/ of fish per year, Nigeria needs a total of 3.2 tonnes of fish every year, according to this 2022 report by The Sun
With our local production only meeting 1/3 of the demand, Nigeria still needs more farmers and innovation in the fish farming business.
Let me tell you why I mention “Innovation” above;
6. Nigeria fish industry employs 10 million people
According to the Nigerian government in this 2022 Punch Newspaper publication, a total of 10 Million Nigerians are engaged in the fish farming sector of the Nigerian economy.
10 million people seem enough number to produce the 3.2 million tonnes of fish Nigerians need but most fish farmers started small and remain small
This is the reason the Nigerian fish industry needs a lot of innovation.
We need hundreds of fish farmers who could (yes, start small but), grow so big as to engage in massive commercial fish farming, using technologies to be able to produce thousands of tonnes of fish annually because….
7. The average Nigerian is 9kg deficit in fish consumption
I told you earlier that the average Nigerian consumes 13.3 kg of fish per annum.
What I didn’t tell you however is that the world’s average fish consumption is 22.3 kg of fish per person.
What this means is that, an average Nigerian is about 9kg behind in fish consumption compared to the rest of the world and as the economic status of Nigerians improves, an average Nigerian would consume more and more fish till we meet the world’s average.
But why is fish that important to the world?
8. Fish is responsible for 16% of the entire world’s protein
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, the world’s fish consumption rose from 86 million metric tons in 1998 to 110 million metric tons in 2010.
In countries like South Korea, as of 2011 average person consumes 78.5 kg of seafood (among which fish is dominant)
In Portugal, it was 61.5 kg while in Norway, it was 66.6 kg, according to this publication by Pulse News
The reason why fish is so popular is that it’s one of the best, easiest, and cheapest sources of protein for humans.
This is the reason why fish protein makes up 16% of the protein consumed by the world’s population.
More than protein, fish is the god of Omega-3
9. Farmed fish is a rich supplier of omega-3
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend eating at least two 4-ounce servings of seafood a week.
That’s in part because seafood—farmed or wild-caught—is the only natural source of two long-chain omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart and brain health.
Research suggests that these essential fatty acids, known as EPA and DHA, may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and rheumatoid arthritis and aid in the development of muscle tissues.
If you’ve been told by your doctor to stop eating meat, the follow-up advice would always be, “Eat more fish” which is why many more people are consuming more and more fish
Advice for Nigerian Potential Fish Farmers
If you’re planning to start a fish farming in Nigeria, even though (as stated above) the 213 million people in Nigeria will always need fish, that doesn’t mean that there’s a free money for you to become a millionaire.
Fish farm, like every other business, is a serious business that requires a whole lot of diligence and knowledge or you’ll fail and lose your money.
If you want to increase your probability of success in the fish business, one of the things you should do is to look for someone who has been in the business for some years, then learn from them.
This is the opportunity we’re giving you.
Through our company, you can have access to our experienced fish farmers, visit our associate farms for practical training and learn directly from our experts fish farmers.
We have our associates farms in more than 20 states of Nigeria
Click here to see our associate farms near you