Fish Farming in Africa: How to Start, A Step by Step Guide for Beginners

Fish farming or Pisciculture entails industrial fish breeding, normally for meals, in fish tanks or synthetic enclosures like fish ponds. In Africa, fish farming is an effective way to enhance vitamin and self-sufficiency. However, about 90% of farmed fish comes from Asia, with sub-Saharan Africa accounting for lower than 1% of world manufacturing. So let’s take a look at extra details about fish farming in Africa.

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Fish is a supply of “wealthy meals for the poor individuals” and will play a key position in enhancing Africa’s meals safety. Fish could be the solely accessible and reasonably priced supply of animal protein for poor households in city or peri-urban areas. In phrases of vitamin, fish is a crucial direct supply of protein and micronutrients for hundreds of thousands of Africans. But fish additionally not directly contributes to the nationwide meals self-sufficiency by means of commerce and exports.

Aquaculture and small-scale fishing present distinctive alternatives to develop Africa’s rural economic system. The largest aquaculture producers in Africa are Egypt, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana, Tunisia, Kenya, Zambia, Madagascar, Malawi, and South Africa. These main aquaculture producers have skilled vital progress in the final decade due to a number of elements akin to capability constructing, adoption of fine governance, analysis and growth, entry to credit score amenities, and the promotion of personal sector-led aquaculture progress.

Private sector-led initiatives have led to investments in sound administration, rising manufacturing methods, the creation and use of aqua feed, and the emergence of dynamic and robust producer associations and repair suppliers. 

Fisheries sector in Africa 

People have been elevating fish for livelihood and industrial functions. Africa is wealthy in water sources in which fish farming is a profitable enterprise enterprise. There are freshwater lakes, ponds, and rivers the place individuals can elevate fish. If you’ll be able to elevate giant portions of freshwater fish, you’ll be able to export them to most European international locations. The majority of the fish eaten in Africa is derived from industrial fishing.

However, there is a rise in favor of fish farms. Prepared meals sustains Africa’s rising dietary wants, and the aquaculture trade gives native employment as a priceless common supply of earnings. Aquaculture has proved to be an efficient stimulus for financial progress and enhancing the well-being of native communities. The largest aquaculture producer in Africa is Egypt, with greater than 1.3 million metric tons per yr.

It is good for African counterparts to enhance their abilities in sustainable fish manufacturing. Fishing in Africa could be divided into considerably easy, large-scale, and small-scale. The small-scale sector, characterised by artisanal fishing strategies, was began largely by Africans to provide native markets. The trade represents a necessary supply of employment and earnings for weak, low-income Africans.

In addition to this small-scale sector, the large-scale sector primarily targets various kinds of exports. The growth of fishing in Africa by means of these water fishing fleets is partly defined by the stagnation and diminishing catches in their nationwide waters or conventional fishing grounds. As a outcome, overseas fishing firms later expanded their operations to Africa to preserve provide. 

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Steps to begin fish farming enterprise in Africa

Start small

It will allow you to perceive whether or not fish farming is the best enterprise for you: It is crucial as a result of, with out correct analysis, planning and finances. It will increase your confidence and open your eyes to understanding the market: In addition to feeding, the second problem dealing with fish farmers is advertising. Yes, the market is available, however going to market and getting out of it with enormous income. A lot of strategies and connections are wanted. 

Be affected person

Patience is a advantage if you need to succeed as a fish farmer. On a critical observe, should you do not need the endurance, please don’t go fishing. 

Don’t consider fast revenue

Unlike most companies, income is not going to come instantly. Instead, it could possibly take a yr or two years to reap the advantages.

Be ready to work arduous

Of course, fish farming is simple, however you even have to be ready to work arduous. 

Decide the character of your fish farm

Firstly, you want to determine the place to elevate the fish. There are many areas the place you’ll be able to fish from rivers, lakes, and ponds. However, one of the best ways to elevate freshwater fish is thru fish ponds. That means, you don’t have to design your fish pond. 


Depending in your finances and funding portfolio, you need to use concrete swimming pools, earthen ponds, or tarpaulin tanks. Concrete and earthen ponds would require the companies of a fish specialist who will information an architect in the development course of. Make positive that the water management construction on the tank matches properly.

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Water supply

You want to discover a water supply for the fish pond. There ought to be influx and outflow of water. Inflow and outflow have to be on the similar price. The influx of water ensures a considerable amount of oxygen in the water. The delicate water movement prevents vital algae from getting out of the pond. 

Select fish species

Catfish and tilapia are the 2 most cultured fish species in Africa; earlier than selecting a sort of fish for tradition, ensure you do market analysis to discover out if People will purchase fish in your market setting. You additionally want to define potential opponents and potential patrons, which is able to allow you to develop a framework for your advertising technique. Once you could have selected a species primarily based on market analysis, you’ll be able to go to the following stage and purchase juvenile fish from any well-known fish farm or by means of a marketing consultant. 

Essential elements to think about when choosing fish species
  • Types of fish with excessive demand in the market. 
  • Species of fish mature in a short while. 
  • Species of fish whose feed is available. 
  • Species of fish that may develop in weather conditions in your space. 

Water/drainage amenities

Fish, stay in the water, so relying in your tradition cycle, to get good high quality inventory after 4 months or extra, you want water/drainage for your fish pond. 

Fish feed

Feed is the primary fish farming problem in Africa. Most of the industrial feeds we now have are very costly, and the return on funding is all the time low after every progress cycle. So, in addition to industrial feeds, you could have to take into consideration how to put together your feed whereas creating if you need to get most revenue from fish farming. The fish feed you can provide your fish contains crumbs, dry sinking pellets, moist sinking pellets, and floating pellets.

You can put together fish meals manually. You want to perceive the important vitamins for fish. Ensure you feed them on the proper time, in the best high quality, and with the correct quantity of vitamins. Ensure they’re fed between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the fish are energetic and have excessive dissolved oxygen ranges. 

Regulating aquaculture websites in Africa

Fish farms have the potential to feed your complete continent and enhance financial energy. However, reaching the correct stage of sturdiness just isn’t as simple as turning the swap. It takes time to develop the best strategies and strategies to the inspiration for economically and environmentally profitable websites. Regular, environment friendly, and ongoing inspections of fish farms will be sure that every web site meets the suitable requirements.

They could be primarily based on analysis and requirements developed to promote and defend the distinctive practices of African aquaculture. Analysis of the success of African aquaculture growth reveals that when related technical information was accessible and utilized in financial, institutional, and coverage contexts conducive to the acquisition and enlargement of know-how, fish farming accelerated.

In different phrases, aquaculture exceeds small-scale remoted achievements and has broader provincial or sub-effects when a particular set of situations is met. The problem now’s to assist additional these achievements and replicate them in different international locations. We suggest two main methods to do that;

  1. Support the event of small and medium aquaculture enterprises (SME aquaculture) and 
  2. Support the tradition of ponds on small proprietor farms. 

Key challenges for fish farming in Africa 

Africa’s fish farming key challenges embody the shortage of reasonably priced high quality inputs, particularly seeds and feed on a number of species for aquaculture (at the moment, blue tilapia and African catfish are a part of greater than 95% of the crop). 

Other points embody lack of technical information amongst aquaculture practitioners in Africa, insufficient coverage and regulatory framework to assist sector growth, dangers of local weather change and biosecurity, and insufficient private and non-private expenditure on aquaculture growth, however inadequate private and non-private spending. Inadequate software of native options and lack of awareness and knowledge to affect decision-makers and monetary establishments. 

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The lack of adequately skilled workers to begin manufacturing applications is likely one of the main obstacles to aquaculture growth in Africa. Qualified workers are primarily concerned in analysis or administration work. Most extension companies and manufacturing actions are carried out by fishers who do not need the mandatory sensible abilities in fish farming. 

Other main challenges dealing with the sector embody the expansion of fish seeds, excessive mortality price and poor aquatic well being administration, expensive fish feed (up to 60-70% farming prices), post-harvest losses, and prices together with low increments. However, interventions beneath the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) program are anticipated to enhance fish manufacturing over the following 5 years, benefiting 1.15 million aquaculture worth chain actors by means of meals safety and improved earnings. The 5,500 km shoreline of West Africa is house to among the most various fishing in the world. 

confirmed applied sciences for selling aquaculture in Africa 

The TAAT Aquaculture Compact launched aquaculture for representatives of the National Agricultural Research and Extension System (NARES) and Aquaculture Value Chain actors from all ten international locations. 

AARTC, a regional heart for genetic analysis and aquaculture innovation, has developed quickly rising breeds of tilapia and catfish, attracting greater than 2,000 authorities officers, college workers, farmers, and extension employees from 105 international locations. Egypt is the biggest producer of aquaculture in Africa. Therefore, it’s excellent for African counterparts to hone their abilities in sustainable fish manufacturing. 

Fish species accessible in Africa

The majority of the fish farming in Africa are tilapia and catfish. Sardines, anchovies, horse mackerel, and axillary seabream are in style on the African coast. In addition, Africa is understood all through the continent for farming tilapia and catfish. Nile tilapia and African catfish are possible to proceed to dominate freshwater aquaculture. Other broadly cultivated tilapia embody the three-spotted tilapia, blue tilapia, and Mozambique tilapia. 

Some fish species carry out properly in most African international locations, such because the Nile Perch, Tilapia, Trout, and Catfish. However, first, think about the weight-reduction plan of every fish and decide if you may get its weight-reduction plan. For instance, the blue perch eats different fish, bugs, and crustaceans. 

Tilapia fish is likely one of the most worthwhile fish for the farm due to its quick progress and one of many best fish to develop. Catfish are a sensible choice, particularly for inexperienced persons, due to their style and talent to resist illnesses and parasites. It can be important to think about the weather conditions every fish can breed. Some carry out properly in chilly areas and a few in heat areas.

Freshwater fish species in Africa

  • Awaous aeneofuscus
  • Redigobius dewaali
  • Humpback Largemouth
  • Brown spot Largemouth
  • Chetia flaviventris
  • Oreochromis placidus
  • Sargochromis giardi
  • Tilapia ruweti

Developingf ish farming in Africa

Aquaculture will play a rising position in meals safety in Africa. The small-scale built-in fish farming system will present different and extra employment alternatives for the rising rural inhabitants in distant areas. Opportunistic micro or small-scale companies in peri-urban areas close to city centres will likely be affected by the demand of the city inhabitants for high-quality fish merchandise.

Finding acceptable institutional settings (public, personal or public-private partnerships) that make sure the creation and upkeep of efficient extension companies to assist these new rural and peri-urban micro-enterprises with the numerous funding will likely be required. Improving worth added by means of higher market chains – Post-harvest losses account for greater than 30% of the catch in many components of Africa.

It doubles the influence on meals safety by decreasing producers’ incomes and the entire quantity of fish accessible to customers. Due to the weak market infrastructure and amenities in rural areas, most fish – particularly in inland fishing – are nonetheless bought as dried and smoked merchandise. There is an pressing want for native authorities and personal funding to assist small-scale advertising initiatives in these areas.

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Such measures can dramatically enhance meals and meals safety for producers and (rural and concrete) customers, main to higher earnings for producers and higher high quality and better portions for customers, main to rural growth. It will even assist inspire and empower ladies entrepreneurs financially. Increasing advantages of native, nationwide, and regional fish commerce – Africa’s native and regional fish commerce is already very giant.

Still, it has the potential to develop additional and assist stimulate markets on many ranges. As a outcome, regional cooperation insurance policies can have a major influence on selling commerce and strengthening nationwide and regional meals safety. 

Helping decision-makers with related data – Efforts ought to be made to monitor the influence of fish provide and commerce (modifications in market construction, value modifications, and many others.) on the nationwide inhabitants’s meals availability and dietary standing. ۔ This monitoring ought to be achieved in partnership with the National Health Services, requiring suggestions. To enhance the position of fish as a necessary issue in meals and vitamin safety in Africa, in fisheries administration methods, and different associated decision-making areas.

Frequently requested questions on fish farming in Africa (FAQ)

Is Tilapia in Africa? 

The Nile Tilapia, which happens naturally in a big a part of North Africa, was civilized by the traditional Egyptians greater than 3,000 years in the past. However, many different tilapia species are discovered in completely different components of Africa, many are conventional edible fish, and a few have been used in aquaculture. 

Where do tilapia come from in Africa? 

Based on the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), nearly all tilapia grown in Africa – particularly Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Tanzania, and Ivory Coast – feed regionally, with very restricted exports. 

Which space is probably the most vital fish manufacturing in Africa? 

Morocco (prime with 29%), Namibia (15.8%), South Africa (12.3%), Mauritius (7%), and Senegal (6.3%) – are among the many prime 50 international fish exporters, Morocco in world commerce Contributes 1.1% and Namibia about 0.6%. 

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Tilapia Fish Farming
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How many species of fish are there in Africa? 

Africa can be house to greater than 3,000 species of fish, a few of them extraordinarily chilly species which might be the final remnants of historic species greater than 100 million years outdated. 

What fish are native to Africa?

Some of the nation’s endemic fish species embody the Plain Squeaker, Cape Needlefish, Sixgill Hagfish, Freetail Brotula, Cape Stumpnose, Phongolo Suckermouth, Southern Dwarf Minnow, White Barbel, Hyphen Barb, and Leaden Labeo.

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