Commercializing production of fish feeds through value addition of locally available feed ingredients
Fish feeds take up between 40-50% of the fish farm’s production costs and is a major constraint to fish farming in resource poor regions such as Eastern Africa. While farmers utilize locally available feed resources including by-products, nutrients from these ingredients are often not bio-available to the fish due to lack of adequate processing. This project seeks to improve on-farm fish production by adding value to the already existing fish feeds and formulating new fish diets using the locally available inexpensive agricultural and industrial by-products.
The project objectives include finding out the types of fish feeds that Eastern Africa fish farmers use with a view to analyze their cost effectiveness, evaluate the nutritive value of fish feed ingredients currently used by fish farmers, add value to existing locally available fish feeds and formulate new diets based on by-products, test the formulated and value added diets on-farm and determine their cost effectiveness and enhance the capacity of small and medium-scale feed production enterprises in East Africa. The project is implemented in three East African countries (Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania) where fish farmers form commercial feed production clusters. Each farmer cluster is composed of women and youth groups as well as fish feed manufacturing entrepreneurs.
We anticipate that this project intervention will improve the quality of the diets and subsequently increase on-farm fish yields and move towards fighting food insecurity, malnutrition, and unemployment. During the project, the researchers plan to interact with players in small and medium scale feed industry and entrepreneurs. This will enhance the knowledge database on locally available feed ingredients that can be used in manufacture of fish feeds and link them up with markets. Ultimately, we anticipate that the project will contribute towards reducing poverty levels in the East African region.
Discussing project findings with communities
Teaching farmers how to make formulated fish feeds
Monitoring the effects of improved feeds on good water quality
Project duration: 3 years