Catfish farmers have decried the high cost of feeds, saying it is the reason for the rise in the cost of catfish,The Nation has learnt.
The Chief Executive, Eny Ken Multinationational Limited, Eniola Abiodun, said the price of aller aqua floating feed had risen. Skretting is sold for N9,370 per 2milimetres(mm) feed size.
Because of the cost, Abiodun said farmers were using eco float which sells for N4,350 for 3mm feed size and blue crown, which sells for N6,200 for 3mm feed size.
He said blue crown and eco float feed are much cheaper and reliable substitutes.
He explained that feed composition is affected by the cost of ingredients, which include fish meal (Senegal), N400/N500per kilogramme; fish concentrate, N1,100; poultry meal, N380; bone meal, N75; bern-seed, N100.
Others are soya meal, N165; dough, N80; maize, N80; garri (high quality/koko garri), N75; biscuit waste; N90 and molasses, N100.
Abiodun said the cost of feeds was stable in the early part of the growing season, but has skyrocketed in the last few days because a lot of farmers did not stock their ponds due to lack of water.
As a result of this, catfish production has decreased, leading to price increases. However, production has begun to rise.
In most markets, catfish sells for N470-tiny size;N560-smallest size; N600-small size ;N650 for Clarias medium size; N700 for Hybrid, per kilogramme.
Meanwhile, fish farmers in East Africa are set to begin using more insect meal in their fish feeds.
A project led by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has concluded that inclusion of insect meal improves growth rates and food safety. It also reduces production costs, the body added.
Also, studies in catfish fingerlings revealed a 37 per cent higher weight gain from Black Soldier Fly (BSF)-based feed. Nile tilapia fish fed with BSF-based feed were 23 per cent heavier.
The project developed and tested insect-based feeds for the sustainable, safe, and cost-effective production of fish and poultry.
Researchers identified suitable insect species and tested insect rearing and harvesting techniques that are suitable for local, small-scale farming systems.
Working with private sector companies, the research team assessed the market potential for insect meal and insect-based feeds and analysed the feeds’ performance in poultry and fish production.
The project worked with the Kenya and Uganda Bureaux of Standards to develop regulations and standards for the use of insects in animal feeds.
The study found that 92 per cent of the 28 profiled insect species have higher crude protein dry matter (DM) than fishmeal available in Kenya and Uganda.
All of the species reared by the project were superior, including the African moth (Gonimbrasia zambesia), which has up to 73.3 percent crude protein (DM basis), field cricket (67.21 percent), house cricket (62.57 percent), and black soldier fly (BSF) (49.5 percent).
Insects are also high in poly unsaturated fatty acids, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals.