PH develops low-cost feeds for milkfish, tilapia – DA
MANILA, Philippines — The country has developed low-cost alternative feeds for milkfish (bangus) and tilapia using byproducts of agricultural and poultry products, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said Tuesday.
The new formulated feed, developed by Dr. Roger Edward Mamauag through the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center-Aquaculture Division and the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, utilizes byproducts from corn, poultry abattoirs. and coconut-fermented copra meal to replace fish meal.
Commercial fish feeds usually consist of fish meal, which is an expensive and resource-intensive product since it requires harvesting fish from the oceans for feed production. Plant-based protein sources like soybean meal and wheat gluten are the low-cost alternatives, but its price has become volatile due to the pandemic and overseas unrest.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said this new project will help local fish growers since most of the feedstuff in the country is imported overseas.
“The ongoing crises, COVID-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine conflict, have a ripple effect in the whole seafood value chain,” Dar said in a statement.
“So it’s not just food and fuel, it also affects feed both for livestock and aquaculture since the majority of our feedstuff is being sourced outside the country,” he added.
Mamauag said the feeds only cost P27 per kilo for milkfish and P24 per kilo for tilapia, compared to the cost of commercial feeds which ranges from P33 to 35 per kilo for milkfish and P32 to 34.00 per kilo for tilapia.
The development of the low-cost alternative feeds would cut the cost of feeding milkfish by P6-8 per kilo or 18-23 percent and tilapia by P8 to P10 per kilo or 25-32 percent.
“Given the cost reduction in feed, venturing in milkfish and tilapia culture in the Philippines will be a promising ‘aquanegosyo’ given its higher return of investments using this locally-formulated fish feed,” Dar also said.