How To Start A Lucrative Frozen Shrimps And Prawns Production Business In Nigeria: The Complete Guide

How To Start Shrimps and Prawns Production in Nigeria or Africa: Guide
How To Start A Lucrative Frozen Shrimps And Prawns Production Business In Nigeria Or Africa: Complete Guide | Image: Pixabay

There are tons of agricultural products that influence the world’s agricultural market at large. Still, very few people know that the shrimps and prawns industry contributes the lion’s share to the global fishery market value. All across the world, the exportation of shrimps and prawns drives massive sales, especially for countries where they’re produced and exported.

As of 2018, total global exports of shrimps was placed at US$19.1 billion, a commendable 21.9% increase from 2015 and a CAGR of 3% from the previous year. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, close to 4 million metric tonnes of shrimps and prawns entered into the global market. There is a long list of countries that benefit optimally from exporting frozen seafood, particularly shrimps and prawns. India tops the list with about US$4.3 billion worth of shrimps in exports, a tally of 24.9% of global exports. They are followed by Ecuador ($3.7 billion), Vietnam ($1.9 billion), Indonesia ($1.3 billion) and Argentina ($1.1 billion). On the contrary, the United States is at the forefront of importing shrimps and prawns. In 2018, they recorded $4.66 billion worth of shrimps and prawns imports, way higher than Vietnam, China and Spain.

However, the shrimps and prawns industry is rather on the average. Despite the large body of seawater in the country, Nigeria exports only 12,000 metric tonnes per year, all of which are sourced from the Niger Delta coastline. Nigeria exports shrimps to the USA, Japan and a few European countries, but the production is still way below expectation. Much of the sea life is exposed to dangers of oil leakage, pipe vandalization in the Niger Delta region and gross mismanagement of the sector.

Notwithstanding, things are looking bright for the shrimps and prawns industry. With the proper attention by the government and a little more support in terms of favourable policies and finance for individual shrimp investors, Nigeria could compete with the biggest exporters of shrimps in the world. In essence, if you’re planning to start a lucrative agro-business specifically in fishery, shrimps and prawns production is a business with tons of opportunities. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you.

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What Are Shrimps And Prawns?

Are they the same? Maybe not! Shrimps are crustaceans with long bodies. They belong to the sub-order called Pleocyemata. On the other hand, prawns are a part of the sub-order called Dendrobranchiata. Also, while shrimps can curl, the exoskeleton of prawns does not allow for curling. However, there is very little to differentiate them, and people often use them interchangeably. One can hardly tell the tastes apart. They are both decapod crustaceans, that is, they have ten legs, and they both have exoskeletons. Notwithstanding, shrimps and prawns are not the same creatures.


What Is Shrimps And Prawns Production?

Shrimps and prawns production is the process involved in raising shrimps and prawns with the intention to produce large volumes for sale. There is a vast market, both local and international, for frozen shrimps and prawns and this is understandably so because, in addition to the delicious taste, shrimps and prawns hold lots of health benefits for the human body.

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Business Opportunities In Frozen Shrimps And Prawns Production Business In Nigeria And Around The World

1). Food Production:

Shrimps and prawns are valuable primarily as food items. They are in high demands because they are rich in nutrients. More so, almost every part of shrimps can be consumed, ranging from the tail to the legs. The shells can also be used as separate meals of their own. Shrimps and prawns can be eaten in different forms, including stewing, frying and steaming. The food industry is better off with shrimps and prawns as well as other seafood because they can either be combined with different meals or eaten alone as desserts.

2). Shrimp Exportation:

In addition to food production, shrimps and prawns are also commercialized on a large scale and can be exported to the international market. Nigeria exports mainly to Japan and USA where shrimp consumption is on a high because shrimps and prawns are valuable food items. The Nigerian shrimps industry is worth $57 million per annum in export. With more individuals delving into shrimp exportation, the value of the sector is bound to rise.

3). Distribution And Marketing:

For local producers or small-scale frozen shrimps and prawns production businesses, distribution and marketing make a good business opportunity. Prawns are not only purchased by direct consumers who buy for domestic consumption alone, but also by restaurants, hotels and eateries which make recipes with them. These institutions buy in large quantities at a time and are always in constant demand. The same can be said of retailers who deliver to markets and stalls.


Facts And Benefits Of Frozen Shrimps And Prawns

  • Frozen shrimps and prawns are different species of animals, but they contain almost the same nutritional components.
  • Shrimps and prawns are rich in Vitamin D, phosphorus and calcium, which strengthen the bones.
  • They contain astaxanthin, a nutrient known to improve eyesight.
  • Frozen shrimps and prawns are low in calories, and, as a result, they maintain body weight.
  • Omega-3 and Vitamin B12, which have been found to boost the mood and improve the functioning of the brain, are present in shrimps.
  • Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, shrimps reduce the bad cholesterol in the body, which causes heart diseases.
  • Research shows shrimps and prawns check premenstrual syndrome, which causes mood swings and food cravings in women.
  • Shrimps and prawns also help to fight cancer by keeping the skin moistured against ultraviolet rays.
  • India, Ecuador, Vietnam, Indonesia and Argentina are some of the leading producers of frozen shrimps and prawns.
  • In Nigeria, frozen shrimps and prawns production is found only in the Niger Delta region.
  • Americans are the largest consumers of shrimps.
  • Shrimps can live for as long as seven years.
  • The average size of shrimps is within 4 to 8 centimetres.
  • Some species of shrimps can adapt their colours to their environment.
  • Shrimps feed on small plants and animals.
  • The cleaner shrimp can feed on fish almost twice its size.
  • Some people find the tails of shrimps and prawns edible.
  • The shells of shrimps can also be used in other meals.
  • The female shrimps can lay as much as 14,000 eggs in a lifetime.
  • Shrimps can be combined with other foods or processed and eaten alone.

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Types Of Shrimps And Prawns

Whereas it seems like shrimps are just shrimps, there are about 300 different species but not all of them are available for commercial purposes. The common classification of shrimps and prawns are:

1). White Shrimps:

White shrimps have a unique flavour as well as a texture that makes them the preferred option for chefs. They are also sweeter than the other types of shrimps. White shrimps come in different varieties including the Gulf White, Mexican White shrimps, Pacific White and the Chinese White shrimps.

2). Pink Shrimps:

The pink shrimps are the common types found at seafood markets. They are so-called because they are pink when raw. They are smaller than most other shrimps and are used especially in salads. Lots of people know the pink shrimps as salad shrimps.

3). Rock Shrimps:

This is another common set of shrimps with commercial value. They have a firm texture even after deshelling. Rock shrimps are used as replacements for lobsters as a rich source of protein.

4). Brown Shrimps:

Although these shrimps are brown, they turn pink after cooking. They also have a rich source of minerals and contain more nutrients than the regular white and pink shrimps.

5). Tiger Shrimps:

This is a farmed variety of shrimps. Whereas they are not the only type of shrimps farmed, they have a unique flavour which makes people demand them a lot.


How To Start A Frozen Shrimps And Prawns Production Business In Nigeria: Step-By-Step Guide

To start up a lucrative frozen shrimps and prawns business, take the following steps:

1). Determine Your Location:

The geographical location of your business site is significant for multiple reasons. First, you need to ensure that your site is close enough to an ocean. This is because the soil in which you intend to construct your pond needs to be acidic and clayey enough to hold water. You also need to ensure that it is not too far from town in order to reduce transportation stress.

2). Construct Your Ponds:

For large-scale production, you need to construct multiple ponds and classify them into two sections for the nursery and the main ponds. The nursery ponds are where you introduce the juvenile shrimps after hatchery.

3). Feeding And Nurturing The Shrimps:

For intensive shrimp production, it is advisable to introduce fertilizers and supplements. Fertilizers will aid the growth of organisms such as phytoplankton and algae for your shrimps to feed on. Over time, you would also need to introduce supplements such as grains, pellets and leftovers. To make this easier, you would have to invest in automatic feeders.

4). Harvesting:

When the shrimps are set to harvest, large harvesters are recommended for use. More so, you should harvest especially in the evening to avoid excessive temperature.

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Challenges Of Frozen Shrimps And Prawns Production Business In Nigeria

  • Low start-up capital for large-scale production of shrimps and prawns.
  • Unavailability of loan facilities
  • Lack of adequate storage facilities
  • Low government support
  • Oil spillage and environmental hazards in areas where shrimps are grown.
  • Difficulty in reaching the international shrimps and prawns market.
  • Insufficient knowledge of how to produce shrimps and prawns in the country.
  • Low private investment in the seafood industry.
  • Poor shrimps farms management
  • Lack of favourable water and soil in most parts of Nigeria.
  • Increasing occurrences of diseases.

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To Sum It Up

Despite its challenges, shrimps and prawns production still holds lots of economic promise in Nigeria. The shrimps and prawns production business in Nigeria can be a lucrative and profitable venture to start-up, due to its vast market demand and on your ability to build a wide supply chain network. If you’re looking for a supply chain business to venture into, the frozen shrimps and prawns production business in Nigeria is a great option to explore.


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Stan Edom
Stan Edom
I'm an entrepreneur with expertise in supply chain management, international trade, small business development, e-commerce, internet startups, renewable energy, and agriculture. I'm also a network engineer, I.T security expert, and computer programmer. In my spare time when I'm not working out at the gym, I try to solve problems people face in their everyday lives with whatever means necessary.

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