A positive Fish Feed Market in Philippines

Fish farming is a local tradition for centuries in Philippines. More than half of total aquaculture production is seaweed while the rest is mainly finfish, shrimp, bivalves and other crops. The most important fish species cultured are milkfish, tilapia and black tiger shrimp.Total aquaculture feed production consists mainly of milkfish, tilapia and shrimp feeds. Onset of diseases, fish kills due to bad culture practices, and the high cost of raw materials to produce high quality aqua feeds are the major problems that the entire fish farming industry must cope with.

Fish Feed Type & FormulaAt present 15 different brands of locally produced fish feed are available on the market. Of these, over 95% are used for tilapia and milkfish culture, and others used for catfish and carp culture. Unlike the development of the shrimp feed industry which depended heavily on imported technology, fish feed producing grew to a large extent from local expertise and experience.The largest fish feed manufacturers are Santeh Feeds, Acritarch, Universal Robina, and Feedmix. Only two fish feed manufacturers utilize extrusion technology to produce floating fish feed(here I recommend our single screw fish feed extruder); others are manufactured by pelleting and are of the sinking type fish feed pellets.Moreover, there are no commercial feed manufacturers on the market. Most companies offer a single feed formulation for the culture of milkfish, tilapia, catfish, and carp, conceivably to reduce inventory cost and simplify stock management. Only few feed millers manufacture diets for specific fish species.This can probably be explained by the fact that these are not complete fish feeds and should be used with scientific fish farming methods.

All shrimp feeds are produced by pelleting; the only one feed plant in the country that originally utilized extrusion processing already being inactive.Recently, the rampant outbreak of diseases and low survival obtained in shrimp ponds have led feed companies to develop special feed formulations in addition to their regular product lines.Among the important changes made in these new diets are the use of better quality feed ingredients (e.g.white fishmeal), higher dose of vitamin C, and incorporation of anthoxanthin and immune-enhancers (e.g.1,3-D glucan, glucose-mannan compounds). These special feeds generally cost US$ 0.10-0.20/kg higher than regular shrimp feeds.Aquaculture specifically requires high protein feed ingredients, such as fish meal and soybean oil meal, which have very little domestic production. Fish farmers are generally knowledgeable concerning the technical aspects of using commercial fish feeds as feed expenses account for more than half of their production cost.The fish farming industry must work towards ways and means of efficiently managing and utilizing local feedstuff resources, such as by improving processing methods, increasing digestibility and nutritional value, extending shelf life and freshness, and by developing formulations specific for each species, culture system, and culture environment.Efficiency in feed utilization can also be better attained by ensuring hydro stability and by employing appropriate feeding methods and strategies.

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