In July 2016, I decided to start the production of catfish. I discussed the first few weeks of the project here, if you read that post, you would know the project pretty much started on a bad foot and now from the title of this post, you can also tell it ended on the same bad foot. Six months later with all of my university savings spent, I decided I could no longer continue feed them 1,500 fishes, it was time to sell. The fishes weighed an average of 0.6 kg as opposed to an expected 1.2 kg with the big ones weighing about 0.8 kg and the small ones weighing around 0.2 kg
I visited the most popular fish market in this town and informed some of the middle men (see my post about middle men here), they followed me to my farm, took a look at the fishes and we negotiated and settled at a price of ₦600 per kilo (I had previous offers of ₦300 and ₦520 per kilo from other middle men which I declined)
After harvesting, the total weight amounted to 330 kg of live weight fishes. Two months ago I smoked 50 kg of the small-sized fishes using my local charcoal oven, which I packaged and sold for 500 per 4-5 pieces making a total of ₦15,000 (300 per kilo). I had also sold 25 kg of the really big sizes for₦ 800 per kilo.
After reconciling my accounts I made a loss in the upwards of ₦50,000, but no I do not feel discouraged, yes I have made arrangements to purchase another batch of fingerlings, because I have only learnt a few more ways of not raising catfish. I would discuss the possible causes of the poor performance, my mistakes as well as my lessons in my next post.
So bad investments do happen, this does not mean you should not try. Every business venture is a risk, things could go wrong or right, either way, pick only your lessons and move forward without looking back, in the words of Malcom Forbes, failure is SUCCESS if we LEARN from it.