Before venturing into this business, an important question needs to be asked, and that is; how much will it cost to start a fish farm? We seek to find answers to this question by looking at different aspects of fish farm setup costs.
Fish farming has been embraced the world over by farmers as a lucrative business. This is a multi-billion dollar industry that continues to attract new entrepreneurs.
Average Cost of Starting A Fish Farm
Part of your planning phase involves knowing the cost implications. You are trying seeking to know how much capital investment is sufficient for the venture. This is irrespective of whether you think you have the required funding or not.
After all, you’ll only be guessing at this point until you find out the true cost of starting the business.
It is important to state that according to the U.S Small Business Administration, over 50% of businesses fail within the first 5 years. One of the reasons for this is the inadequate preparation for the initial start-up and operating costs.
Other reasons include competition from farmers abroad, rising energy costs as well as cost inflation for feeds.
As expected, the cost will be influenced by multiple factors. This includes the type of fish farming you wish to practice. There is monoculture (raising a single fish species in a pond) as well as polyculture which involves multiple species.
Fish costs are mostly determined by equipment and feed. There are also operating costs you must prepare for in addition to unforeseen circumstances.
Cost Of Fish Farming Equipment
The equipment takes up a significant part of your startup costs. These are basic must-haves every serious farmer should consider. This section provides you with a list of such equipment as well as the cost involved.
i. Fish Pond
Ponds are the first things that come to mind. The size of the pond you need will depend on the scale at which you intend to operate. Ponds come in various types and will cost anywhere from $300 to $10,000 to build one. For intensive systems of aquaculture, another piece of equipment will be very important. This takes us to our next point.
Instead of building a concrete pond, you can get a collapsible PVC tarpaulin to raise your fishes in. These types of ponds cost between $200 to $700.
ii. Recirculating Aquaculture System
In a situation where there’s limited availability of water, the recirculating aquaculture system helps you filter water from the fish pond to be reused. This biofiltration system works by significantly reducing ammonia toxicity. It also treats the pond water for solids, oxygenates, heats cools and sterilizes it.
This important piece of equipment is available in various sizes and will cost anywhere between $2,000 to $100,000 depending on what you need.
iii. Grid Separation
These are screens that are used for a variety of fish farming purposes. Its most common use involves separating ponds and channels into separate units. The cost of this piece of equipment will range from $200 to $1,000.
There are several types of feeders with varying costs. The average price tag for a fish feeder will range between $20 to $100. Commercial farming will require several of these. So, the cost is multiplied and can add up significantly. But then the economy of scale works to your favor.
v. Aeration Tools
Different fish farming product manufacturers have come up with brilliant solutions for aeration of water. While recirculating aquaculture systems also perform the function of aeration, these might be out of reach for some farmers. There are cheaper alternatives that custom made to fit the needs of farmers. Designing one for your fish farm will cost around $1,000 to $3,500.
vi. Store Building
A fish farm will need a store to keep supplies such as feeds, and maintenance equipment among others. How large the building is will influence the cost. This will cost about $5,000 to $10,000 to set up. This excludes the cost of the main building (for indoor fish farming).
Every fish farm needs an adequate supply of water. You’ll need to make provisions for this if you don’t have an available source of supply. Drilling a borehole should be a great option to consider.
To provide one comes with cost considerations. Drilling companies have competitive rates that can fit your budget. You’ll have to find out how much it cost to sink one.
Every fish farmer will need to adequately prepare to foot the feed cost. Now, feed cost varies according to the scale at which you choose to operate. Larger commercial fish farms will have a bigger bill to deal with as compared to smaller farms. There’s also the problem of feed cost inflation to deal with.
Expenses on feed might range from $5,000 to $200,000 based on the above factors.
Every farmer needs to have this figured out before proceeding with launching their fish farms. Operating costs consist of things like employee pay, insurance costs, taxes, maintenance costs, and business costs among several. Insurance plans for instance cover risks relating to diseases, theft, predation, pollution, and mechanical breakdown.
Others include electrical breakdown, changes in water such as salinity and de-oxygenation, and storms or weather-related events. You must subscribe to an insurance package that is comprehensive enough and shields your business from risks. The cost for such service will depend on the plan you choose and the insurance company you approach.
Applicable taxes depend on the business entity you choose to adopt. The best strategy to adopt is to seek legal advice about an appropriate business structure to operate under. This will determine the amount of taxes you pay. The common business entities include sole proprietorships, limited liability companies (LLC) and corporations. Choose wisely.
This article gives you a better idea of the cost involved in starting a fish farm. The cost you incur will largely depend on your preferences and decisions. Use this information to assess your business needs. That way, you can plan a better budget for your fish farm business.
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