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Executive Hub: A Step by Step Guide To Starting Fish Farming With N10,000 – CEO, Top-Best Integrated Farms, Temitope Akinboro

In this exclusive interview with the CEO of Top-Best Integrated Farms, Temitope Akinboro, he shared with Executive Hub on the practical steps on how to start a fish farming business with N10,000. Read on…

How did it begin?
I became interested in fisheries immediately after my first degree which led me to obtain a certificate in General Aquatech Institute of Fisheries Management in Ibadan, Oyo State. More so, I also went further to obtain a Post Graduate Diploma and Masters in Fisheries Management from The Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA). I work at the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, Ondo State. Today, I am the CEO of Top-Best Integrated Farms.

How long have you been in this business?
I have been in the business for over 10 years. I registered my business officially with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) in 2017.

How lucrative is it?
Fish farming business is a very lucrative business if you have a good knowledge of fisheries and aquaculture, technical know-how and training/consultation from an experienced fish farmer.

Where is your farm located?
The farm is located at Etioro Akoko South-west Ondo State, Nigeria.

With N10,000, what can be achieved for fish farming?
What can be achieved is little but at least you have started something. After all I started with as low as less than N10,000. The most important thing is determination and passion for the business.

What are the basic requirements?
Water, Land, Capital, fisheries knowledge and Management. Above all you need God and determination.

Can you tell us in detail the practical step by step ways to start a fish farming business with N10,000?
I started fish farming in a plastic drum (200 litres) in my kitchen in 2010. Things that I bought were as follows:
20 pieces of Juvenile fish at N25.00/ fish = N500
(1) 200 litres Plastic drum at N1500 = N1500
(1kg) 2mm Fish feed at 400/kg = N400
Please Note that these items were bought in 2010. However, you will not spend up to N10,000 to buy these items in 2021 to start fish farming. You will surely spend more on feeding as the fish grows bigger over a period of time.

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What are the other opportunities in this business such as smoking and so on?
The value chain of fisheries and Aquaculture is quite much but I will mention just a few e.g. Fish breeding, Smoking size fish production, Table size fish production, Broodstock production, Fish processing, Feed mill, Fish feed distributors, Fish farm setup and pond construction services, Fabrication of smoking kiln, Ornamental fish (Aquarium), Buying and selling of catfish, Catfish pepper soup joint or pub, Catfish Barbecue stands in events, Processed Catfish exportation, Fish farm consultancy and training services, Trampoline pond fabrication, etc.

Top-Best Farms Smoked Fish

What are the challenges expected?
Expected challenges could be based on what is obtainable in the industry such as major economic meltdown which can impact negatively on household spending, bad weather cum natural disasters (draughts, epidemics), increase in the price of fish feed/inputs, and unfavourable government policies.

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What steps can a startup of fish farming take to overcome such or avoid?
A startup is not expected to launch out with trial and error. Hence, the need to conduct a proper SWOT analysis. We know that if we get it right from the onset, we would have succeeded in creating the foundation that will help us build a standard fish farm that will favourably compete with other leading commercial fish farms in Nigeria and in other parts of the world.
Also, we are quite aware that there are several large, medium and small scale fish farms all over Nigeria and even in the same place where our farm is to be located, which was why a startup should follow the due process of establishing a business. We know that if a proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be equipped to confront our threats.
TOP-BEST INTEGRATED FARMS employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst without bias in the commercial farming industry to help us conduct a thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives.

What is the Return on Investment of this business?
Fish feed takes about 70-80% of fish production cost. This suggests that if fish farmers can reasonably reduce cost of feed and/ properly manage feeding following the Best Management Practice (BMP), a significant increase in profit margin will be recorded. However, it is well noted that high quality feed gives better fish growth performance, but costs more money.
TOP-BEST INTEGRATED FARMS have been able to reduce the cost of fish feed to about 50% of catfish production cost by producing our high nutritive locally pelletized fish feed with the use of highly nutritive and readily available feed ingredients with our fabricated locally made pelletizing machine.

Top-Best Farms Fish Pond

What is the SWOT Analysis involved?
A summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of TOP-BEST INTEGRATED FARMS are enumerated below:
Strength:

Our strength as a commercial catfish farm is in the fact that we have healthy relationships with loads of major players in the commercial farms industry; both suppliers and buyers within and outside of Nigeria.
We have some of the latest commercial farming techniques and expertise and that will help us produce in commercial quantities with less stress and low cost of production. Aside from our relationship (network) and expertise, we also have some of the most experienced and highly skilled staff in our employment.
Weakness:
One of the weaknesses of our farm is insufficient funds to operate at the expected full capacity. The farm is located in an area of the country where water may be a challenge during the dry season. However, a deep well is available and a commercial borehole will be sunk in the future to mitigate this challenge
Opportunities:
Available market in the area; this is possible because of high concentration of individuals, restaurants and pubs who consume catfish in different forms both in Nigeria and other parts of the world. We will ensure that we maximize the opportunities available to commercial catfish farmers.
Our farm is establishing itself to take advantage of the growing trend among consumers towards living a healthy lifestyle. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for the produce that offers these advantages and our farm is supplying the produce that meets the demand of the market.
Threat:
Some of the threats and challenges that we are likely going to face are global economic downturn that can impact negatively on household spending, bad weather/natural disasters (draughts, epidemics) and unfavourable government policies. The most significant threat to our farm is unforeseen epidemic diseases among the livestock; because they are inevitable. However, measures will be taken to reduce the effect of its impact on our produce. Another significant threat to the farm is insufficient rainfall or heavy rainfall/flooding. However, prophylactic measures will be carried out to take care of any disease occurrence; insufficient rainfall will be taken care of by drilling of commercial borehole; our ponds are constructed in such a way that it will prevent flooding resulting in loss of fishes or investment.

Who can venture into this business?
Anyone can venture into the business such as, government workers or private, retirees, graduates, secondary school students and anyone that is interested.

Can any interested entrepreneur consult you? And how?
Yes, via our email address -topbestintegratedfarms@gmail.com

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