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4 Things to consider before venturing into the fish farming business

By Grace Chomba

 

Stephen Wang'ombe in his fishponds Mihango village in Subukia Nakuru County. BONIFACE THUKU


Fish farming involves raising fish commercially enclosed in tanks or fish ponds.  
It is a profitable business venture and a source of food.
Nevertheless, there are key things a farmer needs to consider before starting the business.
These key issues will help them avoid some of the common mistakes fish farmers make.


Market
It is among the first things one should look into, not only for fish farming but all businesses.
One has to identify their target market and what would sell, its nature, size and the customers' buying behaviour. This will prevent one from reporting losses that can be influenced by market changes.
Location
Location influences other factors such as the type of the pond and water source.
If one chooses to use a dug-out pond, it will require a clayed-loam soil to hold water well.
Some fish require warm waters while other saltwater. But one would have to be careful while choosing a location that will be conducive for fish farming.
Water availability
Fish requires water to survive. One can source for water from springs, wells, rivers, streams or lakes, surface runoff and groundwater. Ensure your farm and operations do not consume water used for other purposes.
Type of fish
You need to be careful when choosing the type of fish you want on your farm. This is crucial since different fish variety will survive in different locations and ponds. The common species raised on farms are catfish, cod, salmon, carp and tilapia.
Tilapia, for example, and catfish, require warm water to survive, while tuna requires saltwater. Catfish are easy to cultivate.
Above the issues mentioned, do not forget to check environmental factors that can expose your farming to potential hazard and threats like vandals, insects, birds, snakes and cats. On location, climate conditions should be checked before settling.
After you’ve made your decision on the major issues ensure you have legal documentation from the authorities to undertake fish farming.

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