The agricultural industry has not only grown to become one of the most lucrative businesses in South Africa today, but it has also risen to become one of the most important sectors. The industry has attracted attention over the years, with loads of people venturing into various segments.
One of the most looked at sector in the industry is fish farming. Although this part of the industry is not particularly easy to start compared to many others, it is one of the most lucrative.
Setting up a fish farm is one thing, preparing to take care of the fishes is another. One of the very few challenges fish farmers face is estimating how much they’d need to spend on feed. In this post, we will take a look at an estimated amount farmers should expect to spend on feeding 1,000 catfish.
Cost of Feeding 1,000 Catfish in South Africa
Estimating how much it’d cost to feed a thousand catfish is not as straightforward and simple. This is because many factors affect the eventual prices the farmer would spend on feeding. To make this more relatable, we will look at how much it would typically cost to feed a thousand catfish till they all gain 1 kg weight. Also, we will have to consider a few other factors that could increase, or decrease the eventual cost. Let’s get started.
Buying the Catfish
While it would be easier to go straight into the cost of feeding the catfish, it will do you more good for us to start from the beginning – buying the catfish juvenile in the first place. As it stands, buying a catfish juvenile costs between N25 – N35 per fish, hence, we can settle for N30 per fish on average. This means acquiring 1,000 fish will cost R$1,080 on average.
Cost of Feeding the Fish for Six Months
Now that you have settled the purchase of the catfish, we can dive into the cost of feeding. On average, provided all things are normal, you would expect about 1 Kilogram feed to make one catfish gain 1-kilogram weight. Hence, 1, 000 fish will require an average of 1, 000 kg feed to develop adequately over a few months.
A bag of fish feed, which usually equates to between 13 kg and 17kg, sells for between R$216 – R$288, depending on the brand you are going for. To simplify this and for the sake of this post, we can assume that a bag of fish feed has 15kg feed, with one bag costing R$234.
This means that one would require approximate 70 bags of feed to comfortably feed the fish for several months. With the price of each bag R$234, 70 bags would cost R$16,380.
While stopping here would have been convenient, potential fish farmers need to understand that there are many more expenses to note that relates to the development of the fish. One of the most important is setting up and maintaining the habitat of the fish.
You can decide to either rent the pond or build one. Regardless of which you want to settle for, you will spend. The amount you can expect to spend depends on the location. For instance, you can expect that renting a pond or building one in Johannesburg will be more expensive than setting one up in many other parts of the country.
Once you have acquired the pond, you will need to clean it and make it a suitable habitat for the fish. This includes cleaning the pond, cleaning the surrounding environment, constructing erosion channels, and many more. These also come at a cost and should be in the plans of the farmer when estimating the overall cost of feeding the fish.
Once these have been sorted, the farmer should then look at mechanisms to prevent predators. This is particularly important when it comes to the safety of the fish. One of the most common methods people deploy is the use of Nets. You can easily construct nets across the pond. If you are looking at going into large scale fish farming, like the ones that involve a thousand fish, then it is very important to budget for the construction of nets across the pond.
Just like other animals, the health of the fish you are looking to feed is very important. Hence, it is advisable to also budget for medication cost when planning for the cost of feed the fish. While this may not be the first one on the list, it is always very good for one to prepare for anything and everything. Hence, have a budget in place for medication in case the need arises.
To cap it all up, there are other expenses one needs to budget for. Expenses like logistics-related costs are almost unavoidable. Also, if you wouldn’t have the time to go to the farm every day, you might need someone to be feeding the fish and watching after them, hence, the need to pay the person. Although this is not an essential expense, it is quite important if you wouldn’t be the one monitoring the fish daily, because this sector of farming requires close monitoring.
With the detailed analysis and explanation as above, one should have a general idea of how much it would cost to both take care and feed 1,000 catfish.