Shantona Rani cleaning mola fish in preparation for cooking. Bangladesh. Photo: WorldFish
QUALITY, LOW-COST FISH
FEED MADE BY FARMERS
In rural Bangladesh, finding low-cost, good- quality fish feed with a high content of protein and vitamins is a challenge for many rural farmers. Swanpan Kumar Biswas used to travel 23 kilometers to the closest city to purchase commercially made feed, which he discovered was falsely advertising a 32% protein content. It actually contained just 22% protein.
That changed when Swanpan and members of the village’s Shapla Fish Farmers Association attended training on fish feed production, provided by the Aquaculture for Income and Nutrition project. After learning about feed composition for different species, feed-to-body-weight ratios and how to operate a semi-automatic feed mill, they decided to purchase equipment for a village mill and produce their own feed. Farmers pay a small fee for using the mill to compress the ingredients into pellets for mature fish, or to grind them into powder for juveniles. The project has established 62 feed mills and trained 430 farmers in feed production.
“With this improved mill, I can assure the amount of protein in the feed, and ensure that it is of good quality. After using this feed, my fish have good growth. Now, in 10 days they grow as much as they used to in 15 days. I also don’t pay as much for the feed as I used to.”
Swanpan Kumar Biswas