The growing fish farming in the world is creating a demand for fish feed. Complete commercial fish feed supply all the ingredients (protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals) necessary for the optimal growth and health of the fish. New and balanced commercial diets, in the form of granules or pellets, provide the nutrition in a stable and concentrated form, enabling the fish to feed efficiently and grow to their full potential. Meanwhile they meet the energy requirements of fish, and produce little contamination of tank water. It was reported that fish nutrition has advanced dramatically in recent years with the development of balanced commercial diets that promote optimal fish growth and health.
Therefore, most of the worldwide scale fish farms rely much on artificial fish feed to increase their yield: Large fish farms usually purchase commercial fish feed as bulk feed in truckloads and stored in outside bins; Smaller farms also cannot do without the nutrition supply of quality commercial fish feed. In Bangladesh, fish feed consumption reached 1.1 million tonnes, while shrimp feed consumption was recorded at 350,000 tonnes in 2014. It was estimated to grow at 10-15% in 2015.
In Africa, aquaculture develops and grows very fast and there have been a lot of innovations, technological advancement and progress in the areas of genetics, seed propagation, pond construction and farm management in general. However, most fish farmers still rely heavily on imported feed ingredients and fish feeds from European countries, which makes fish farming expensive as fish feed represents 40-50% of the production costs. When faced with an increase in feed costs, some poor farmers may have no other choice than to stop feeding their fish. While others are keeping searching effective methods to reduce their feed cost, such as producing their own fish feed to satisfy the nutrition requirement of the fish. While we have to admit that only very few of them have this awareness. Though the lack of locally produced high-quality fish feed is still one of the major hindrances to the development of aquaculture industry in Africa, because of the demand for affordable, safe and quality fish feed increasing, we believe that locally manufactured fish feed will enhance, improve and sustain aquaculture development in Africa, and leads the African fish farmers out of difficulties.
Aquaculture profit depends on cutting costs of feed, increasing revenue, improving feed to fish conversion and finding cost effective fish feed. In local fish feed making process, approaches, such as product substitutions through alternative sourcing of feed ingredients, increasing the nutritive content of feed to grow healthier fish and improving locally produced, low-cost feeds by the extrusion process, are taken to cut the cost of raw materials.
Taking tilapia feed manufacturing for example:
Identifying locally available ingredients to formulate tilapia feed that is nutritious but cheaper than existing commercial feeds promises productivity, livelihood, health and environmental benefits, especially by enabling local feed manufacturers.
▼ Low-cost tilapia feed formulated from locally available ingredients should be nutritionally comparable with good quality commercial tilapia feed to maintain productivity.
▼ Rapid and participatory appraisal of local farms, agro-industrial activities and rural markets can often yield suitable ingredients for formulating low-cost tilapia feed. In Bangladesh, such an appraisal identified high-protein ingredients such as mustard oil cake, dried duckweed, poultry viscera, dried animal blood and shrimp-head meal.
▼ Feed preparation on small-scale farms is labor intensive, and feed quality can be compromised by deficiencies of amino acids in some ingredients.
▼ Encouraging micro- and small feed making enterprises that process locally available resources like crop and livestock byproducts has potential for ensuring the supply of low cost tilapia feed without compromising its quality and also generating local employment.
The first thing to make feed by own is that you need purchase a set of fish feed extruder. According to different models, the price range of dry type fish feed extruder machine is $ 2,000 – 12,000/set, and wet type fish feed extruder need an extra price of boiler. And then is raw material, grain materials employed in fish feed pelletizer are such as wheat, soybean, cake, corn and other leftovers and etc., those cost is less. In addition, the feed need to add a lot of additives, which is as Vitamin ADEKB1B2B6B12, nicotinic acid, folic acid, pantothenic acid, biotin, choline, VC, and inositol. Mineral like copper, iron, zinc, manganese, selenium, iodine and cobalt are necessary. Here is how to get these additives from usual life.
How to choose is very important for farmers, because the proportion of feed in the entire cost of farming is the most important, is the key to obtain the economic benefits of fish farming. It is not difficult to see in this summary of experience that making feed by own is more cost-effective.
By 4361694 from Pixabay