Aquaculture Magazine

June/July 2016

China Invests Heavily in US Soybean Export Council’s Technology Improvements for Pond Aquaculture

The Chinese government, together with private aquaculture producers, invested roughly $10 million in 2015 for Intensive Pond Aquaculture (IPA) technology, according to the International Soy in Aquaculture Program of the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC). That investment is expected to double to $20 million in 2016.

IPA technology was first brought to China by USSEC’s Aquaculture Program in 2013 at a demonstration project in Pingwang, Jiangsu Province. The IPA demonstration achieved notable success in tripling yields, better fish performance, health and quality, a lower feed conversion ratio, labor savings and higher profitability. Impressed with the results, officials from both the central government’s Ministry of Agriculture and the local fisheries department committed to adopting and extending the technology throughout aquaculture producing regions countrywide.

Developed at Auburn University with funds from the soybean checkoff program, the IPA system creates a healthier environment with a riverine flow for fish in in-pond raceways and protects water quality by removing waste and recycling it for other uses, such as biodiesel and fertilizer. This has the added benefit of significantly conserving water resources by reusing the pond water, which previously was discarded due to waste pollution. This benefit is of particular importance as water resources become increasingly compromised and overexploited in China.

“While the advantages of the IPA system are well recognized by producers and it has strong support from the government, it has also demonstrated advantages to the U.S. soy industry,” said Jim Zhang, Regional Director for USSEC’s Aquaculture Program. “The system requires higher quality feed with high protein and better water stability for lower feed conversion and less waste removal, which means more soy-based feed consumption.”

To support the expansion of IPA technology in China, USSEC’s Aquaculture Program created six additional demonstration projects in various provinces, is providing more technical support through seminars and on-site technical services, and organizes visiting teams to well-operated IPA units.

“We’re very pleased that the IPA technology has yielded such successful results and is being so widely adopted in China,” said Colby Sutter, Director of the International Soy in Aquaculture Program. “USSEC remains committed to working with the Chinese government and aquaculture producers to help improve the sustainability of their products with innovative technologies, while optimizing the value and utilization of U.S. soy products in feeds.”

A video of the IPA technology transfer can be viewed at: The USSEC operates internationally and works with aquaculture programs in different nations to help ensure sustainability and profitability for industry producers. USSEC programs are partially funded by the United Soybean Board (USB).

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