TANZANIA - Tilapia is a popular fish to farm in Tanzania, but productivity is often low due to poor feed quality. Speaking at Aquaculture America 2014, Sebastian Chenyambuga, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania, discussed the results of using moringa leaf meal and sunflower seed cake as alternatives to fish and soy meals, writes Lucy Towers, TheFishSite Editor.
With prices of soy and fish meal too high for many farmers in Tanzania, moringa leaf meal (Moringa oleifera) and sunflower seed cake could prove cheaper and more nutritional sources of feed.
The study found that a diet of 50 per cent moringa (M) with 50 percent sunflower seed cake (SSC) proved the most nutritious, giving better results than using soybean meal alone.
The M and SSC combination fed daily at five per cent of body weight resulted in the best growth performance.
However, the feed conversion ratio was better when fed at only one per cent of body weight, but this feeding had very poor growth performance.
Overall, the study found that moringa had the best source of protein, but the best growth was achieved when fed with an equal amount of SSC.
Mr Madalla also noted that farmers would be able to plant their own moringa tree, making it a cheaper and more accessible feed.
However, more work needs to be done on any other possible side affects of feeding morniga leaf, such as the affect on reproduction.
This research was sponsored by the Oregon State University through a grant from the US Agency for International Development.