Success story of Chi-Farms Aquaculture Project
“I always spent my money for my fishes, but I never knew if I was making a profit. Now I track my expenses every day and I know how to manage my farm to be profitable.” Mrs. Bolanle Adesina is part of the Aquaculture Empowerment Program by Chi Farms (Nigeria). Chi Farms aims to increase the supply of fresh catfish in Nigeria by building the capacity of small holder fish farmers. At the same time Chi Farms invests into the expansion of its catfish juvenile hatcheries and its feed mill. This project is a partnership of Chi Farms in conjunction with Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation a USAID funded programme. This USAID programme helps to commercialize agricultural innovations in small holder markets. This programme would support small holder catfish farmers in the Northern and Southern parts of Nigeria. This project is vital because fish is one of the main dietary component of Nigerian families. The projects helps in diversifying the fish market and reduces importation. This would lead to increase of income for the smallholder farmers thereby contributes to the long term goal of stable fish supply in Nigeria.
Bolanle Adesina is one of the farmers that Chi Farms has partnered with. She has been active in fish farming for three years. However, the trainings by Chi Farms are her first professional trainings on fish farming. During the six full training days all aspects of the growing cycle were covered. She learnt about site selection and pond preparation which helps when choosing a pond site to avoid flooding. She learnt about pond preparation and stocking which enlightened her on steps to take before stocking the pond with juveniles. She learnt about water quality management and its importance to the survival of fish which helped her to reduce mortality and increase growth rate. She learnt about fish nutrition and feeding which enlightened her on importance of feeding the juveniles at the right time to enhance growth. She learnt about fish health management and its importance in order to reduce mortality. She learnt about record keeping and the importance to keep track of what is spent. She learnt about fish farming as a business and its profitability. She has noticed an improvement in the FCR of her fishes and reduction in mortality rate. This is because of improvement in her feeding methods and not over feeding. This controls buildup of ammonia caused by food waste and helps in health management of the fishes.
Mrs. Adesina Bolanle, Location: 10 Bakare Street, Eleja Sagamu
Mr. and Mrs. Odubawo who were also participants of the training have been into catfish farming for 5 years. They have decided to take part in the production partnership with Chi Farms. The motivation for Mr. and Mrs. Odubawo is the interest rate been paid on the loan, which Chi Farms has provided for inputs, which is about 2.5% monthly. This kind of loan facility is not obtainable from Nigerian banks. The Commercial banks charges at least 5% monthly interest on every loan while the Micro finance banks charges about 10% monthly interest. Under this formal agreement they receive juveniles, feed and water testing kits on credit from Chi Farms, eliminating the need to seek financing from other institutions. In return they supply their catfish to Chi Farms at a pre-agreed price. The pre- agreed price is constant throughout the cycle. The price of 1kg catfish presently is 550 – 600 Naira while the pre-agreed price is 750Naira. This guarantees that the farmers make profit and could sell at higher prices.
Mr. & Mrs. Odubawo, Location: Jesuwalaye Street, off Ayepe Road
Chi Farms is bringing most of the procured catfish to the Lagos metropolis with its 20 million inhabitants. The company provides the life catfish to hotels and restaurants and recently also launched various processed food products based on catfish. This partnership Chi Farms have with the small holder farmers would ensure consistent availability of catfish. In total over 1,000 catfish farmers in Southern and Northern Nigeria will benefit from the partnership with Chi Farms.