Many fish farmer fail today because of lack of foresight to implement change at the appropriate time as the business runs. To run a successful fish farm, you need to able to move your business from one stage to another, so as to create wealth and build up sustainably. However imperative causes of why most fish farmers fail and possible solutions would be pointed out in this post:
Poor Farm Location: Such as in a place with inadequate water supply, poor soils for pond construction (e.g. may be rocky), far away from markets and/or supplies, etc.
Poor farm and facility design: Ponds not compacted properly, leak a lot, maybe too shallow, and consequently, construction and maintenance costs become too high while optimum yields are not achieved. Poor ease of access to ponds, requiring workers to walk across difficult terrain to transfer fish from pond to vehicle or vice-versa.
Poor Investment Plan: Several farmers assume that to be a commercial fish farmer one must have several large ponds. Hence, they construct many ponds at once, which constrains their cash flow. Because of this, some farmers take a while to start production or may only afford to start production in one pond after all the investment.
Lack of Marketing strategy: most farmers Start looking for the market for fish when the fish is ready for sale. Meanwhile, because they are still feeding, the pond attains its maximum limit and fish stop growing. The longer the fish stay in the pond after they have stopped growing, the smaller the profit margin.
Not employing the right staffs: Employ the right people. Employing family members who have little or no passion to learn fish farming techniques is a liability because most people find it difficult to dismiss them even after it has become obvious that they are the reason for the poor performance of the fish farm.
Manage farms by remote control or telephone: No direct involvement in production and management activities of the farm.
Irregular and improper feeding: This ranges from complete lack of knowledge about the nutritional requirements and feeding of fish to reduce cost by using cheap feeds. Some farmers just do not feed their fish because they think fish will grow as long as they are in the water. They do not realize that like all animals, best performance would be obtained if the fish are fed a balanced ration and that the feed needs to be palatable, easily digestible and does not disintegrate into the water before the fish can consume it. Fish should be fed with the correct feed of the right quality.
Lack of proper record to assess performance or re-adjust management practices accordingly after each cycle: A farmer is therefore unable to tell whether a profit or loss will have been made. Having money in one’s pocket after a sale does not imply one has made a profit. Some farmers do not want to keep records because they are scared of facing the harsh realities of a loss. Unless one is able to face the bitter truth and correct his/her management practices, there won’t be any improvements and the business will eventually collapse.
Expand the business as a solution to low profit and yields: It is a bad business decision to expand a failing business without first finding out what the causes of the failure are and correcting them.
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