Shodiya Olalekan, a Nigerian graduate, delved into the world of fish farming immediately after graduating from the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo state. Originally from Ogun state, Olalekan is now based in Lagos, where he runs a big fish farm.
Interestingly, Olalekan started very small when he made up his mind to go into fish farming.
Olalekan started his fish farm with 100 fingerlings. Photo credit: TikTok/@sholeksfarms.Source: TikTok
He started small
He narrated his humble beginning to THETALK.NG during an interview and said his determination has made him go far in the business.
“After successfully completing my HND at the Federal Polytechnic Auchi, I officially went into fish farming fully. I am a certified catfish farmer and very passionate about educating people about profitable catfish farming. I am also a graphics design enthusiast, a content creator in fish farming and a foodstuff merchant. Sholeks Farms started with just 100 post fingerlings in a single 1000-litre plastic fish pond, but as of today, it is a 10,000-capacity fish farm.”
Fish farming in Nigeria is profitable in Nigeria
Olalekan described the fish farming business as a highly profitable one if one perseveres and never gives up. He said the profit margin is high once one overcomes the initial challenges.
“There is a huge profit margin for properly managed catfish farming in Nigeria. But before deciding to go into the business, bear in mind that high expectations from the business will lead to utmost disappointment. Understanding that it is a livestock business and any business that involves life is a very risky business, and this will help you as a first-timer– it’s prone to loss. Therefore, it is not a business for the faint-hearted.”
Don’t be discouraged by the loss
But Olalekan said the business can also be very risky. He said there are cases where farmers lose their fish to death. In his opinion, loss should not be a discouraging factor in fish farming.
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“As lucrative as the business is, there are so many recorded cases of losses and success in the business. Catfish farming profits can vary from how you sell your fish, how you breed it, how you present and market it and so on. Even the smallest of changes can make a huge difference in maximizing your profit margin in the business.”
There is a big market for catfish in Nigeria
According to Olalekan, good business models and adequate farm management practices kept him afloat over the years.
“A successful catfish farm is one which gives a reasonable return of initial investment, while a successful catfish farmer is one who figures out ways to manage and maximize the profits from the farm. The business has different factors working together that result in a successful business model. Either big or small scale, a farm needs good management, stable finance and determination.”
Olalekan said the demand for catfish, which is the type he farms, is continuously on the rise in Nigeria.
“Fish farming in Nigeria is currently a very lucrative business, and it is mainly boosted by the continuous rise in the demand for catfish, which no one can ever meet the demand.”
Fish farmer displays catfish online
In a related story, THETALK.NG reported that a Nigerian lady who is a fish farmer showed off one of the fish she harvested.
The lad said the catfish was so big that she found it hard to lift it.
When people saw the size of the fish on Twitter, they asked about her location for possible patronage.