Dried and Smoked Catfish Business in Nigeria

The dried and smoked catfish business is lucrative in Nigeria due to the high demand for catfish. In addition, Nigeria can produce more than its domestic consumption making its export potential high.
Dried and Smoked Catfish Business in Nigeria

Among the numerous fish varieties found in Nigeria's water bodies, catfish holds a significant place due to its taste, nutritional value, and versatility. Over the years, the demand for dried and smoked catfish has been steadily rising, making it a profitable business venture for aspiring entrepreneurs. 
According to the FOA (Food and Agricultural Organization), Nigeria is the leading producer of catfish in Africa, with an annual production of about 300,000 metric tonnes.
This article delves into the world of dried and smoked catfish, exploring its benefits, how to start a business, market trends, and the price per kilogram in Nigeria.

Dried And Smoked Catfish

Dried and smoked catfish is a processed catfish that has through dehydration and smoking. The process involves cleaning, gutting, and slicing the catfish before exposing it to heat and smoke, which helps to remove moisture and prevent bacterial growth, thereby extending its shelf life. 

The dried and smoked catfish business in Nigeria has gained considerable momentum in recent years. The country's rich aquatic resources provide an abundant supply of catfish, making it a popular choice for local consumption and export. This business venture has proven to be lucrative for farmers, traders, and exporters alike, contributing to the economic growth of the nation.

Benefits Of Dried And Smoked Catfish

Catfish serves many benefits, Some of them include;

High Nutritional Value

Catfish is a rich source of essential nutrients such as protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. It is known to promote heart health, Promote eye health, boost the immune system, Lowers cholesterol, boost energy, and aid in proper brain function.

Versatility in Cooking

Dried and smoked catfish can be used in various culinary dishes, adding a unique smoky flavor and enhancing the taste of soups, stews, sauces, and rice dishes.

Economic Importance 

Catfish farming and processing provide livelihood opportunities for many Nigerians, especially in rural areas, contributing to poverty reduction and increased income.

Demand and Export Potential

The growing appreciation of Nigerian catfish in both local and international markets has created export opportunities, making it a potential foreign exchange earner for the country.

How To Start Dried and Smoked Catfish Business in Nigeria

Starting a dried and smoked catfish business in Nigeria requires careful planning, knowledge of the industry, and dedication. Here are the essential steps to get started:

Market Research 

Conduct thorough market research to understand the demand for dried and smoked catfish in your target market. Identify potential customers, competitors, and pricing trends.

Create A Business Plan 

Create a comprehensive business plan outlining your business goals, target market, marketing strategies, budget, and operational plans. A well-structured business plan will serve as a roadmap for your venture.

Register Business

Before you legally start a dried and smoked catfish business in Nigeria you have to Register it with the CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) and obtain all necessary licenses, approvals, and permits.

Raw Material/Catfish Supply 

Establish a steady and reliable supply of catfish. You can either engage in catfish farming yourself or source from local fish farmers, fisheries, or fish markets.

Processing Facilities

Set up an appropriate facility for processing and preserving the catfish. This includes a hygienic processing area, smoking ovens or kilns, and storage facilities to maintain the quality of the product.

Implement Quality Control

Ensure strict quality control measures are in place to produce premium-grade dried and smoked catfish. Consistent quality will build trust and loyalty among customers.

Packaging and Branding

Invest in attractive and informative packaging that reflects the quality of your product. Building a recognizable brand will differentiate your business in the market.

Marketing and Distribution

Develop effective marketing strategies to reach your target audience. Utilize social media, local markets, supermarkets, and potential restaurant clients to promote your dried and smoked catfish.

Price of  Dried And Smoked Catfish per Kg in Nigeria

The price of dried and smoked catfish per kilogram in Nigeria can vary depending on factors such as location, quality, demand, and supply. On average, the price can range from N3,500 to N6,000 per kilogram.

Where to Market Dried and Smoked Catfish in Nigeria

The market for dried and smoked catfish in Nigeria is diverse and can be accessed through various channels:

Local Markets

Sell your product in local markets, especially in regions known for their love of catfish-based dishes. Engage with consumers directly to understand their preferences and feedback.

Supermarkets and Grocery Stores

Collaborate with supermarkets and grocery stores to have your product displayed on their shelves. Many consumers prefer to purchase Dried and Smoked Catfish from Supermarkets due to their convenience and accessibility. However, ensure to use attractive packaging and competitive pricing to attract customers.

Restaurants and Hotels

Partner with restaurants and hotels that use catfish in their menus. Offer samples and build long-term relationships to secure regular orders.

Online Platforms.

Leverage e-commerce platforms and social media to reach a broader audience. Online marketing can help you tap into markets beyond your physical location.


Explore export opportunities by connecting with international buyers interested in Nigerian dried and smoked catfish. This can be done through trade exhibitions and online platforms.

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