In this article, I offer (as I have done in previous writings) I offer more ideas for possible consideration by farm business owners, towards ensuring successful startup and long term success of their farm entreprises.
Personally, I use the phrase “Farm Business” to refer to a mix of mainly Fish Farming enterprises integrated with other livestock enterprises (such as piggery, poultry, rabbitry etc) AND complementary crop farming, earthworm rearing, daphnia culturing, feed formulation/compounding etc.
Integrated Fish Farming Helps Protect YOU Against Risks & Uncertainties
I have carefully studied trends out here (which remains VERY unregulated and disorganised) and have come to ONE conclusion: One needs to be reasonably self-sufficient in one’s farm business needs – especially as it relates to timely acquisition of essential, and critical inputs which if allowed to vary in quality or availability could cause major setbacks in the farm’s operations.
Critical inputs I refer to include brood stock, fingerlings, feedstuffs etc – the supply/quality of which may not be reliably assured as unscrupulous suppliers may let the business owner down at any time!
It is my opinion that this approach that involves running a farm business based on a mix of high profit/low capital and operating cost livestock and other enterprises, ensures that ALL the farm’s resources – including labour – are maximally utilised ALL year round.
This is in contrast to the situation that occurs with exclusive crop and other seasonal farming enterprises which have to be timed to coincide with the various seasons.
So, if you are planning to start a farm business of your own, and want to look forward to – and obtain – REAL long term financial returns, I suggest you choose to make your farm run based on a livestock production enterprise – fish farming (especially catfish) being ONE that offers fairly reliable/reasonable returns with relatively lower capital requirements – integrated with other complementary enterprises.
Given the difficult, risky and uncertain nature of our socio-economic environment, Integrated Micro-Small Scale Fish farming is the easiest, cheapest, AND least risky to learn and start-up PLUS it offers – with good management – potentially the MOST rewarding financial returns.
That is why I chose to focus on it over poultry for instance, which is relatively MORE capital intensive and operationally demanding. Over time of course ANY person (who has recorded progressive success in micro/small scale fish farming) can “graduate” to more capital intensive levels.
So, to sum it all up, I believe EXCLUSIVE fish farming for individuals and small groups operating on micro to small scale is a bit too risky and prone to negative impact of the unpredictable economic climate out here in Nigeria. Elsewhere this may not be that much of an issue of course (That’s up to the farm business start-up/owner to decide).
For instance today petrol price is no longer 65 naira per litre. Instead it has jumped up ten “NAIRA” steps to 75 naira per litre – courtesy of a government increase. This – like other unplanned and therefore unexpected government policy changes before it – WILL have a multiplier effect on so many operating variables/inputs used on many farms. By having a complementary mix of enterprises, the fish farmer cushions his farm business against direct impact that could in its worst manifestations, “KILL” it – literally speaking.
Final Words: Make Sure You Seek Competent Counselling
All that I have said here is of course my personal opinion. Please REMEMBER that you DO NOT have to accept my ideas – and I strongly suggest you seek the counsel of competent professionals in making up your mind.
Note however that in taking advice from ANYONE (myself included) you will need to check and make certain that s/he has a FULL appreciation of the dynamics that come to play in the running of the farm business enterprise(s) being considered, in YOUR chosen environment. What I offer you here is derived from extensive experience-based evaluation of the challenges faced by owners of the farm businesses mentioned.
If you need help making up your mind about what farm business to venture into, I suggest you read my article titled “14 Key Questions-Issues to Consider in Order to Choose (& Startup) The Right Farm Business”.