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Physically challenged fish farmer proves there’s ability in disability

Abdullahi Idris, also known as Maikano, is making a difference in the lives of People Living With Disabilities through fish farming. The 32-year-old was born…

Abdullahi Idris, also known as Maikano, is making a difference in the lives of People Living With Disabilities through fish farming. The 32-year-old was born physically challenged. 

The young man said all his life, he has never considered begging as an option. He rather has a big dream of becoming a big-time farmer one day.

Fish farming, he said, is one of his favourite value chains in the farming sector and he started with 1,000 fingerlings and now has over 3,000 in his fish farm.

“It has always been my ambition to venture into farming, so I started fish farming two years ago. As a physically challenged person, I decided to go into fish farming because I can handle that one by myself. So, after attending a series of training on fish farming, I saved some money from my little earnings and started with 1,000 fingerlings in a pond.

“Gradually, I continued learning and acquiring more skills about the business. Later, I rented a part in a farm and got four fish ponds. Each of the ponds now has at least 1,000 fishes and, in a month, or two, we will be harvesting.”

According to Maikano, the business is lucrative if one is lucky to have proper and modern techniques of fish farming. He is expecting huge profit from his three ponds of over 2,500 fishes and is planning to expand to seven or eight ponds afterwards. 

“I always give them their feed. I know there are ways you can change the feed to minimize cost, but they are bigger and heavier on the scale if you give them their feed. That way is more profitable to me,” he said.

One of his fish ponds

 

Speaking on the challenges of the business, Maikano said it has many but can be minimal if one is careful and dedicates time to check on the fish regularly.

“Everything has a challenge and fish farming is no exception. Some of the biggest challenges are mortality and wound on the fish as a result of bacteria. When I started, I lost almost 500 out of the 1000 fish, but with the guidance of a doctor and business colleagues, I was able to overcome, and even make profit.

But Maikano said despite the challenges, one hardly records zero profit in fish farming and so advises on ways to tackle the challenges.

“Once you always change the water regularly, you have no problem. And also, you sort them out when they grow. For instance, I have 1,000 in a pond. After two months, I will sort them out of the pond and separate the big ones from the small ones. That will help them to grow and gain weight.”

With the fish farming and other side hustles, Maikano said he is able to feed his family and even relatives.

“Fish is one secret value chain that will never stop giving you income. Like now, one kilo of fish is sold for N1,300 or even more. And each of the fish, at five or six months, can weigh one kilogramme or sometimes more.”

He therefore called on the youth and physically challenged persons like himself not to relent, but ensure that they engage in farming to make a living instead of depending on others or resorting to begging. 

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