Investing in farming can be a worthwhile investment

With rising food prices, buying a farm can be a worthwhile investment

In the old times, poultry farming was the farmer's wife; throwing some feed out to the chickens who were wandering loose around the yard was the norm. Today, poultry raising is big business. It is now done by exerts who understand the commercial and business side of the farming method.

Recently, the World Bank made a pronouncement that Nigeria has more potential in the Agricultural sector than the Oil and Gas sector. The World body also affirmed that, Agriculture is the largest sector of the Nigerian economy, and it is obviously very important in sustaining the livelihood of a greater number of the people. It has also expressed willingness to provide $150 million support for Agriculture in the country.

In a related statement, the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) a UN body has raised alarm over the issue of 'World Food Shortage' and the galloping prices of food around the world especially in Africa. FAO believes that without a pragmatic solution to the problem of food shortage in Sub-Saharan Africa, the region might be in for a major human disaster.

Nigeria is not left out in all of these world food crises. The rate at which prices of poultry products has gone up in the last few years has really been quite alarming. In the last 3 years, the price of chicken and egg has gone up by over 300%.

As an investor, how then do you take advantage of the situation? Simple, buy a farm. There are quite a number of farms for sale in Castles and below we provide you one of the attractive offers. There are different types of farms and one of the most attractive is poultry farm. Poultry farming involves raising chickens, turkeys, ducks and other fowls for meat and eggs. Poultry farms can be: Breeding farms where they raise poultry for meat or Layer farms where they produce eggs.

The best breeds depend on what you want from them. Good egg layers are the Rhode Islands reds (brown eggs) and Leghorns (white eggs). Great meat comes from Arbour Acres, Ross, and Peterson Chickens which were named after breeders who raised them. New Hampshires, Plymouth rocks, and Wyandottes are also good for the production of eggs.


 


 

Today, poultry raising is big business. It is now done by experts who understand the commercial and business side of the farming method. Apart from meat and egg, other products come from this type of farming. Duck and Goose feathers are used for pillows and insulated clothing. Eggs are used in the manufacture of paints and medical vaccines. The demand for egg in the pharmaceutical industry is almost unquantifiable.

A personal investigation to some poultry farms around Lagos shows that the demand for poultry products (eggs and chickens) has outgrown its supply. To get a supply for egg in any farm around Lagos, you must have booked for two or three weeks ahead of time. Even at that, most buyers still go back home disappointed. Egg today is about the most consumed farm produce in the country. Almost every part of our meal has an element of a poultry product. You either take egg or chicken meat. The continuous rise in the price of egg testifies to the merit in this assumption.


 

One of the major users of poultry products are the Fast Food Restaurants. Almost every part of the country now has two or more fast food joints. The eatery business has grown to such an extent that most of these outfits have now gone into the capital market as quoted companies. Tantalizers, Tasty Fried Chicken, Mr Biggs, Chicken Republic, Sweet Sensation and a host of others are major players in the eatery business whose demand for poultry products runs into millions of naira on daily basis.


Fishy Business!

Fishing is one of the oldest types of farming peculiar to those on the riverside areas. These people do it for living, and for fun they sell it at give away prices to travellers or community members. Some even fish during holidays for enjoyment but few years back, fish farming has taken a new turn as more people see it as a lucrative business that is worth investing in. Funmi Ladeji finds out that there is nothing fishy about fish farming, except that it is good business.

Have you ever thought of making money out of fish farming? Well, it is fast gaining ground and many people are beginning to see it as a worthwhile business. What used to be considered as occupation for natives of riverine areas has suddenly boomed into a prospering business that attracts everybody from all walks of life.

That fish farming business is lucrative is evident by the increasing demands for fish in the society. The fish market has a ready market-There is a recurrent demand for fresh fish by proprietors of eateries, beer parlors, and hotels, and a plethora of party organizers all through the year. Hence it is not surprising that sometimes demands outpace supply. Buyers as a result seek alternative suppliers in case their regular customer cannot meet up, especially when they are buying in large quantity. To be specific, large fish are sold per kilogram and a kilogram cost between N300 and N320. One single fish can cost as much as 1000 naira!

How can you get into this business? You don't have to be an expert fish breeder; neither do you need a huge amount of money to start the business. With little you have, and some training, you can start this business you need to have your own hatchery as a necessary condition. To this end you need a site to dig your own a fishpond in your compound or somewhere close by. Presently, the species of fish in use for the practice in Nigeria is the cat fish specie.

There are various stages involved in maintaining a fish farm. The process includes keeping the mixture of fish egg and sperm of the male fish in the pond hatchery. This is the first stage. After that, they develop into the juvenile stage under one and half months. At this stage, you need to feed them with imported feeds because of the floating nature of the feed. When they out grow the stage, you can introduced them to the locally produced feeds as this will help out in the over head cost. At this stage, which is the stock stage, they may be sold to other farmers who do not have the resources of breeding them.. From the stock stage, they are reared to the table-sized fish and then sold to the public. Hence you have the option of either growing your fingerling and supplying them to other farmers or breeding your stock to harvest-ready product.

If you want to focus on producing fingerlings, an average farm can produce about 50,000 fingerlings every week. Fingerlings cost an average of N5 to N8 but since fingerlings have high mortality, it will be ideal to by them at the stock stage. Then they cost about between N12 and N15 each. To grow a fingerling to a big table-size fish takes an average of Four and half months.


 

It is very important to note that from the fingerlings stage to grow-out stage, you have to do regular sorting of the fish to avoid the smaller fish being cannibalized by the bigger ones.

For example, you can stock about 2,500 finger-lings, but because of irregular sorting, the shooters amongst the finger-lings can cannibalize the smaller ones, and, at end of the day, you may end up having about 1,000 surviving. For those who don't understand this problem of non-sorting, they will think that their fish have been stolen by some people. The purpose of sorting is to separate the smaller fish from the bigger ones, known as ''shooters".

The fishes must be well fed, at least twice a day. Their food contains mixture of maize, dried fish, calcium and vitamin C .Some times they may be feed weed with blood meal. Maintenance wise, fish farming involve involves keeping the place and the water free from pollution of any kind so that the fish will not die.
So if you are looking for a real estate investment, perhaps you can consider buying a fish farm. These are some advertised ones in CASTLES in recent weeks.