(93)Start a High Protein Soy Based Extruded Floating Fish Feed
The coastal districts of Andra Pradesh are now witnessing a new method in fish feeding.
Fishes are being fed with the extruded floating feeds replacing the traditional method of feeding with the raw materials .
Bhimavaram, Gudivada, Kaikaluru, Akivedu are now experiencing a renewed activity as farmers are experiencing the benefits of extruded floating fish feed.
“There is a lot of optimism among the farmers and they are willing to try the new methods of fish farming for fishes such as Rohu, Catla, Pangasius and also new varieties such as Tilapia and sea bass,” says Mr. S. Amalraaj, Indian Representative for Muyang company in Chennai.
Aquatic animals cannot digest starch effectively resulting in excessive excrement which causes physiological problems such as excessive gas, bloating diarrhoea and these apart, from affecting the growth of the fish also lead to water pollution.
The extrusion which is a high temperature and short duration process cooks the materials killing the germs and pathogens and makes the feed easily digestible.
The response from farmers is encouraging as the use of extruded floating fish feed comes with a host of advantages in terms of digestion ,growth, water protection, zero water pollution , optimized labour usage and zero wastage of raw materials
In the traditional method of fish farming, a mixture of de-oiled cakes/ or rice bran is used for feeding the fishes.
The mixture normally settles down at the pond bottom causes water pollution. There is also a lot of wastage which otherwise could have been used for other applications
Since the raw materials are not formulated well, the growth of the fish takes longer duration
of time involving higher feed conversion ratio.
For traditional feeding about 4-5 kgs of raw materials is required to produce 1 kg of fish. Whereas through extruded feed one requires about 1.2 kg to produce 1 ktg of fish
Extruded feed is much more safe, because fed ingredients can be pasteurized or sterilized during feed extrusion operation, thus reducing the effects of feed on the health of aquatic animals and water quality.
feed-based technologies in practice in some of the Asian countries have shown beyond doubt that soya-based fish feeds have delivered immense commercial benefits.
The work done so far in India has resulted in the country emerging as a significant producer of soya-based extruded floating feeds and sinking pellets for fish. “Indian entrepreneurs have invested in imported extrusion machinery to produce floating fish feeds,” said Dr Vijay Anand, technical director of ASA's Asia subcontinent aquaculture programme.
Currently, there are as many as seven feed mills with installed capacity of 72 tonnes an hour which is set to soon expand to 203 tonnes an hour.
Soyabean meal is the main source of protein in the formulations and the incorporation levels are in the 35-45 per cent range. Other ingredients used include rice-bran, broken rice, wheat bran, wheat flour, corn gluten meal and copra meal.
Conceding that feed is only a part of aquaculture value chain, the aquaculture industry needs species diversification — in addition to the current carp and Pangasius — improved hatchery technology, refinement of farming system, diversification of farming system and improved fish marketing for better consumer acceptance, Dr Cremer said.
Earlier in the day, this correspondent was witness to harvesting of a record 20,000 kg of fish — each weighing one kg on an average — by renowned feed-makers Growel Feeds from a leased pond near Gudivada. The fish were fed soya-based feed.
India's fish production is approximately 8 million tonnes and the fisheries sector provides employment to about 15 million persons. Given that we have 7,000-km-long coastline and the biodiversity, the potential offered by fisheries sector is immense.