Fish farmers here said that they need local and low-cost feeds to battle high aquaculture production costs, as feeds alone take about 60 percent of the cost.
This is a long standing call of fish farmers or pond technicians who use the fish diet produced by the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center/Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC/AQD).
The department said that low-cost and sustainable ingredients can improve fish growth, survival, production, and, eventually boost the income of small-scale farmers throughout the entire Southeast Asian countries.
It is now assessing the ingredients around these countries in terms of availability, sourcing sustainability, nutritional requirements, proper use of ingredients and cost-effectiveness.
The data will lead to the selection of specific ingredients in the country and promote its mass production.
“The availability of the ingredients in the locality will change the mood of feed production in the market and for the entire aquaculture industry,” said Dr. Edward Roger Mamauag, scientist and head of SEAFDEC/AQD Technology Verification Section.
“This is a step forward to address the recurring issue of finding the ideal feeds for local aquatic community,” added Mamauag.
Further, he said that the use of indigenous feed resources or even agricultural wastes are now being tapped to reduce production costs and consequently increase profit.
Meanwhile, the matter will be discussed during the 50th Meeting of the SEAFDEC Council starting today, March 26 until March 30, in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
“We expect full support and cooperation of all member countries as this concerns them also,” AQD chief Dan Baliao said. (ESS/PIA-Iloilo)