Since the aim of this blog is to give you profitable business ideas, I’ll let you in on a key secret:
One of the fastest and most stable ways to be rich is by being in the business of feeding others.
It is that plain and simple.
Every other business model can easily fail, but the business of feeding others never will. This is because we always have to eat, and the rate of food consumption of the human race keeps increasing predictably and dramatically every day.
Here are some interesting stats and reasons why being in the food business will always be profitable:
- Just 55 years ago, in 1960, the population of the world lies at 3 billion people. Today, there’s an estimated 7.3 billion people in the world.
- Every day, and every year, at least 2.4 times more people are given birth to than die.
The above stats show us that there is always more mouths to feed, and if you are doing things right you will always be profitable in the food industry.
Now, here are some more interesting statistics:
- “Agriculture and agriculture-related industries contributed $775.8 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012“. To put this in perspective, that’s bigger than the entire GDP of my country, Nigeria – at $463 billion – in 2012. To further put this in perspective, Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa.
- The food and drink manufacturing industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, accounting for 18.3% of the total manufacturing sector turnover, and responsible for employing 17% of the overall manufacturing workforce in the UK.
- Agriculture alone added $85.54 billion to the Nigeria economy in 2012, a number that would be much higher today.
The above are interesting statistics to show you how big of an industry the food/agriculture industry is in some great countries of the world.
That said, exactly how big is the fish industry?
It is difficult finding recent data on just how big the fish industry is but here are some interesting stats:
- As of 2010, catfish was the sixth most popular fish or seafood consumed in the United States.
- The US Farm Raised catfish industry employs at least 10,000 people and contributes at least $12 billion to the US economy annually.
- Fresh whole catfishes in the US cost approximately $1.83 per pound in 2013.
- Fresh whole catfishes in Nigeria cost anything from $0.50 to $1.50 per pound depending on the size. This is based on my perspective as an insider in the history, since I’m a commercial fish farmer as well.
Growing Your Catfish
This is where the number varies.
According to the U.S. Catfish website, it takes around 18 months to 2 years to grow a 1-pound catfish.
There are probably a lot of reasons behind this, and I can’t say for certain since my farm is in Nigeria, but I am able to take my catfishes from juvenile state to an average of at least 3.3lb within 6 months.
In some instances, depending on early care and a lot of factors, I’m able to take my catfishes to around 4.4lbs in the same 6 months period.
Based on what I’ve seen so far, and the people I have moved with, my fishes should be weighing at least 22lbs if I had to wait for 18 months.
Now, I say this BOLDLY and without the slightest exaggeration; my teacher’s results are much better, and I’m on track to have record results with the current batch of fishes I’m doing.
Here’s a picture of me holding a 4 months old catfish; this was one of the biggest fishes I harvested then, and it was weighing around 1.5kg (3.3lbs).
Here’s another picture of me holding a 6 months old catfish. (This fish here is weighing more than 2kg (4.4lbs) and I had a lot of similar fishes, even bigger, during this particular harvest. During the harvest this fish came from, I had an average of 1.5kg from a little over 2,200 fishes I harvested. That performance is average based on what I was taught.)
That said, like I said earlier on, there are probably a lot of factors contributing to the difference in growth/size of the catfishes.
How much impact the weather and climate conditions play, I’m not sure. How much impact feeding plays, I’m not sure, since I only have firsthand experience here in Nigeria.
I’ll also make this very clear before continuing with this series:
This (catfish farming) is my industry, and something I do on a commercial basis. While this site will give you a lot of unique and profitable business ideas, including ideas I have no experience with, catfish farming is something I do myself, and I move with a lot of successful catfish farmers in the industry so I have clear and firsthand experience in the industry. So, you can take what I say about this as fact.
That said, I believe it won’t be fair to continue without crediting these two very important people in my life as far as my catfish farming experience is concerned.
1. Mr. Abiodun Eniola: This is my teacher. He taught me majority of what I know about fish farming; he invited me to learn about the industry in 2014, and he told me about the potential of catfish farming as a business.
Ever since he invited me into the business, and taught me his approach, I have never looked back.
Now, I’ll say this clearly; Mr. Abiodun is one of the smartest people I’ve seen when it comes to catfish farming. You will easily find some of the biggest catfishes in his farm, and his profit margin is usually so outrageous that many big catfish companies will be willing to pay him a fortune just to have him replicate his results for them.
2. Mr. Solomon Aderounmu: This is my teacher’s grandteacher, and someone I’m very proud to know. He is perhaps the most intelligent catfish farmer I have met at the time of writing this; he is also one of the biggest fish farmers in his axis.
One thing I like the most about Mr. Solomon is his scientific approach to fish farming; he studies wide, experiments and has fundamental knowledge of the industry.
I’m also similar in nature to Mr. Solomon; I’m highly inquisitive, scientific and ambitious, so I find it very entertaining and fulfilling to listen to, and debate with, him about fish farming. He has also inspired and imparted a lot of knowledge of fish farming on me.
It is said that you should give credit to whom credit is due, and I have done that my referencing the two people I can call my teachers due to how much they have taught me about the catfish business.
It is my aim to one day interview the both of them and have them share their catfish farming philosophies and secrets with readers of this blog.