Fishing for Business Opportunities in Nigeria

August 3, 2017
Fintrac Inc.A small-scale fish farmer in Nigeria feeds her fish under the supervision of one of Chi Farms' client focus team members.

In Nigeria, which consumes nearly two million metric tons of fish per year, fish farming is a huge business opportunity. A key ingredient in many Nigerian national dishes, fish is an important source of protein that will see booming demand as the country’s population grows.

But the fish sector is facing a challenge: Nigeria imports more than half of the fish its people eat and the price of imported fish has increased significantly because of the devaluation of Nigeria’s national currency.

Even in areas that have suitable water resources for fish farming, like the Kano and Sagamu regions, farmers  lack the technical knowledge required to take advantage of this business opportunity. They also lack access to hatcheries that supply the juvenile fish they need to profitably expand fish farming. 

Nigerian company Chi Farms is working to change this by helping small-scale farmers – primarily women – tap into this opportunity.

Chi Farms is partnering with the Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation Program to increase its capacity to supply juvenile fish to farmers and build teams of aquaculture specialists to provide extension services.

The company is building two new hatcheries that will produce one million juvenile fish per year and will provide access to farmers in previously underserved geographical areas.

Chi Farms’ client focus teams–which consist of local aquaculture specialists–will also help farmers who have little to no experience with aquaculture build successful businesses. Farmers will receive training in good aquaculture practices, financial management, and farming as a business.

Client focus teams will also help more experienced fish farmers set up demonstration ponds to educate farmers in their communities and highlight the business potential of fish farming. Once established, farmers will have the opportunity to sell some of their fish back to Chi Farms for processing or sell directly to fresh fish markets. The client focus teams will provide additional guidance and marketing support to farmers at this stage.

Smallholder maize and soy farmers in Nigeria are also benefitting. As more farmers pursue fish farming, they are increasing demand for maize and soy for aquaculture feed production. This demand generates more income opportunities for grain farmers, contributing to the overall economic growth of communities.

By providing farmers with inputs and technical support, Chi Farms is helping small-scale farmers grow their businesses and create a reliable, thriving aquaculture market in Nigeria.

Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation is a USAID-funded program that invests in private sector partnerships to commercialize agricultural innovations in smallholder markets.