Growth in Thai aqua industry propels growth in aquafeeds09 March 2006
THAILAND - Although Thailand's aqua industry had been plagued by disease problems in 2005, the country still managed to produce 340,000 tonnes of shrimp through intensive cultivation, Dr. Juadee Pongmaneerat, Senior Expert in Aquatic Animal Nutrition at the Thai Department of Fisheries said at an aqua conference.
Inexpensive ingredients are however needed to reduce commercial feed costs and standard formulations for nutritionally balanced feeds are required, Dr Juadee said.
Freshwater species in Thailand that have the highest economic value are giant freshwater prawns, Nile tilapia, catfish, striped snake-head fish and common silver barbs. Freshwater shrimp and Nile tilapia are Thailand¡¯s main aquatic exports.
Feed makes up about 40 percent of the costs in Thai aquaculture farms. Various feeds such as fresh, farm-made feed and commercial feeds are used. Commonly used fresh feeds are trash fish, fishery by-products, poultry by-products and kitchen waste. These fresh feeds are easily spoiled and are breeding vats for diseases.
Dr. Juadee said that standard formulations for nutritionally balanced farm-made feeds that incorporate local raw materials are required, in addition to good processing practices.
Today 149 feed facilities have met requirements for the Feed Quality Act for aquatic feeds with the Department of Fisheries. In 2006 there are 64 complete feed manufacturing plants: 31 shrimp feed mills, 15 fish feed mills and 18 mills that produce both fish and shrimp feed.
The number of feed mills has increased by 30 percent over the past year, partially due to bird flu, which has raised demand for seafood. In addition, because of drug and chemical residue problems, farmers of freshwater shrimp have turned to commercial feed instead of on-farm mixed feed.
The Department of Fisheries said it has realised the importance of developing a system based on GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) international standards and a total of 12 feed farms had been accredited according to these standards.
Source: eFeedLink - 9th March 2006