Starting a fish farming business is a highly profitable venture but like any business, only so if you get things right from the first step. Proper planning is required, more so because it is live species that you will be dealing with and any wrong move can spell doom even before your business is up and running.
What then are the steps that you should follow to initiate a successful fish farming business?
Gain knowledge and required expertise – While it is true that you can hire experts to look after your business, there is nothing better than having a certain degree of expertise in this field. The Internet is the best place to learn the rudiments of aquaculture and fish farming. Visit other farms in your area to know how they work.
Setting goals for your business – This is very important at the start. Know the quantities you would like to produce and the returns that you desire on your investment. Work out the initial financial outlay and the rate of growth that you would want. All these are very intricate matters and you will do well to contact a top business consulting firm to work these things out for you. Their consultants will draw up a business plan that will have details of financial outlays as well as marketing strategies of your produce. This will include who you will be selling to, the scale to start with and the rate of gradual growth and other related factors. Take some time off to work out the details with the consultants before you take the final plunge.
Start small and grow gradually – This is true for any business. The smallest you can do is to have a fish pond right in your backyard. Buy fish supplies at wholesale rates either online or from large agricultural supply markets. Once you know the quantum of expected sales or after talking to a few potential buyers you can decide on the size of your pond. It is always better to keep provision for future growth and expansion.
Designing the pond – This is crucial for optimizing yield. First is the source of water. The inflow and outflow over a period of say a month should be equal. Too low inflow will derive the pond of oxygen and result in accumulation of oxidants, too high outflow will flush out the pond of beneficial algae. Screens and guards should also be placed on the inlet and outlet to ward off insects and predators, especially during the culture period. Additionally, the pond should have sufficient slope to facilitate good drainage. The ideal is a drop of about 2cm for every 10m.
Equipment needed – Pumps is the primary equipment for fish farms. Due to evaporation in the warm months and splash out in general, the water level gets depleted. Hence pumps have to be installed that can carry fresh water from the nearest source to maintain water levels in the pond. Next are aeration devices that give fish an adequate supply of oxygen. When these are used it is possible to maintain more fish in comparatively smaller ponds. Seine reels and other handling and grading equipment should definitely be an integral part of your fish farm.
These are some of the points to start off with. As you go along and increase your business there will be other logistic factors that will come into play.