Tuesday, May 6, 2014


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Nigeria is said to be the highest importer of frozen fish in the world.However, Nigeria’s ecological and climatic conditions put the country at an advantage for the production of a wide range of fishes in order to attain food security.

Availability of high quality fish feed is one of the greatest problems that affects the expansion of the small scale fish industries in Nigeria.Fish feed business is a billion-dollar industry, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Feeds are so important in raising fish that some breeders even have their own feed manufacturing operation on-site.

Feed for fish mostly consists of grain.  Catfish feeds contain grain or grain by-products that are rich in starch. In addition to providing an inexpensive energy source, starch helps bind feed ingredients together and increases expansion of extruded feeds so that the feed pellets are water stable and float in the water. A typical catfish feed contains 25 percent or more of digestible carbohydrates.

Fish feed is processed by compression, pelleting or extrusion. Existing pelletizers in Nigeria are not adequate for production of highly demanded fish feeds like floating types that can be done through extrusion.

This is because they sink rapidly when thrown in pond or tank, any raw starch in the diet is left uncooked, pollutes the water in the pond and tendency to crumble, produce much dust and gets wasted due to inability to detect when the fishes are satisfied with feeding.

Food extrusion is a process in which food ingredients are forced to flow, under one or several conditions of mixing, heating and shear, through a die that forms and/or puff-dries the ingredients. Extruded floating feeds are preferred by many farmers because they allow observation of the feeding process thereby preventing wasteful

feeding, facilitates the inactivation and destruction of heat labile anti-nutritional factors and other contaminants and they are extremely stable in water.Also, the higher temperatures employed during extrusion cooking facilitate the rupture of the cellulose membrane surrounding the plant cell and individual starch granules of cereals and oilseeds, with consequent starch gelatinization and increased carbohydrate and calorific bioavailability.

An extruder can influence the texture of the pellet varying in hardness, brittleness and cohesiveness. Density can also be influenced, resulting in sinking and floating properties adjusted to the fish eating behaviour.

Extruded feeds are more cost efficient, improve quality of ratio and increase profitability for importers, compounder and farmer.

Nigeria’s fish sector grew rapidly over the past three years after more than a decade of decline. The growth in Nigeria’s fish sector is constrained by the persistent scarcity and high cost of major feed inputs such as corn and soybean meal. A major problem of the

local poultry industry is the irregular and limited supply of all raw materials that are grown in Nigeria. Prior to 2000, white maize and other Nigerian grown cereals were the main components of the ration, however with the reduced production of white maize coupled with increased consumption for humans, a grain shortage developed.

The GON lifted the import ban on corn in 2000 but imposed a duty of 70 percent to discourage imports. Corn prices over the past three years have averaged close to $300/MT.

Nigeria’s feed production is expanding rapidly in step with growth in the fish industry. Imported fish feed accounts for approximately 75 percent of the total feed produced in Nigeria and about 70 percent of the cost of producing proteins of animal sources can be attributed to animal feeds. 

Nigeria imports between 700,000 and 900,000 metric tons of fish annually with the effort of the government to encourage local production of fish, investment in fish feed importation would contribute greatly to the development of animal protein supply in the country.

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Report Code:FORA/2014/FLOATINGFISHFEED/09094673

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