How to Start Your Fish Farming Business in Kenya

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Talk of fish and you have the attention of almost every Kenyan.

Fish consumption has become a lifestyle for almost everyone in the country. 

Need I mention that it is a very delicious meal especially when consumed with ugali? Haha…

Don’t even get me started.

And if you’re thinking about pushing it, scroll back up and confirm my name. Haha…

Jokes aside,  millions of Kenyans love fish, and that is where fish delicacies gain their popularity. 

But, does the fish supply in the country meet the demand?

I doubt, and they is the number one reason why you need to get into the fish farming venture.

Best Location for a Fish Farming Business in Kenya.

You will need a location where there is a good supply of water.

If you can get a fresh supply of water in town areas, well and good. But I’d rather you set up in rural areas where freshwater supply is unlimited.

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Requirements for starting a fish farming business in Kenya.

What do you really require in order to successfully start and run a fish farm? Any skills, knowledge, equipment, or considerations? Let us find out:-

  1. Market research will always come first – get to the ground and know things about fish farming. Know the possible challenges and how much demand there is against the supply. If you find a gap to exploit and you are favored by the answers you get for other research questions, then proceed.
  2. Get the relevant skills and education – you can visit the ministry of agriculture for proper guidance on how fish farming needs to be done to profit maximally from it. There you can acquire all skills necessary for fish farming.
  3. To specialize or not – you can decide to specialize in raising a certain type of fish, several types, or just raise as many types as you can.
  4. Identify a hatchery/supplier for fingerlings – you need to spot a hatchery or a place where you will get a supply of your fingerlings. This should offer quality and relatively cheap fingerlings to increase your profit margin.
  5. Acquire a piece of land with sufficient water – you can hire a piece of land either in rural areas or close to town, provided there is a sufficient supply of water. This may cost you about Ksh.10,000.
  6. Assemble the following:

  • A huge polythene paper – Ksh.3,000
  • Digging tools – Jembes, forks, spades.
  • Water pump – hired at Ksh.500
  1. Dig a fish pond – you need to dig a fish pond according to the guidelines and skills you get from the ministry of agriculture pertaining to the depth, length, and width. The dimensions of the pond will also be informed by the number of fish you intend to raise.
  2. Fix the huge polythene paper – the huge polythene paper should cover both the bottom and sides of the fish pond to prevent water leakages. You can see that you won’t actually need to use ballast and concrete.
  3. Pump enough water into the fish pond – use the water pump to pump enough water into the pond in preparation to bring your baby fish.
  4. Bring your fingerlings or baby fish – from the hatchery you identified, purchase as many fingerlings as you had budgeted and as many as the fish pond can hold. Feed them regularly and provide the necessary conditions for growth. You can fence the farm to curb theft.
  5. Market your fish farming business – network with fish hawkers, hotels, restaurants and fish joints so that you can have a ready market as your fish matures.

How Much Capital do You Need to Start a Fish Farming Business?

Just how much will be required to set up the fish farm and kick off the business? Let us see:

  • Fingerlings –Ksh.1,000
  • Land – Ksh.10,000
  • Huge polythene paper – Ksh.3,000
  • Water pump hire – Ksh.500
  • Feed – Ksh.2,000

With Ksh.17,000 – Ksh.20,000, you can set up a fish farm.

If you want to operate on a large scale farm, invest in more fingerlings, their feed, and a larger pond.

How Profitable is this Business?

You can expect to sell 1Kg of raw fish at Ksh.350 – Ksh.400.

Just sell 100 fish at Ksh.350 each to make Ksh.35,000 and you have returned your invested amount a

Repeat with other fingerlings and continue raking in cash.

Kenn Omollo is an investment writer and a business management consultant at Joon Online Limited. Reach him at - kenn@joon.co.ke

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