Philippines feed mill set to cut aquaculture costs

A dedicated aquafeed mill will soon begin operations in the Central Luzon region of the Philippines in the town of Baler.

Lots of Tilapia Fish Swimming in a Fish Farm
Rudy Tanjung |

In Central Luzon, a feed mill has been constructed to allow for greater flexibility in aquaculture diet formulation.

Fish farmers in the Philippines have expressed concern about the rising cost of feed. However, a solution may be in sight that allows the sector to expand.

Soon to start operation is a new dedicated aquafeed mill, according to the Philippine News Agency (PNA). Located in the Central Luzon region, the facility is in the town of Baler.

According to the local authority, the new mill will help reduce feed costs and support growth of the aquaculture sector in the province of Aurora.

Main aim of this project is to lower production costs for fish farmers by using cheaper and readily available feed ingredients. Among those materials identified with potential are rice husks, copra meal, moringa and water spinach.

As the construction of the mill approaches completion, training sessions have started for staff from the local government, reports PNA. Participants are receiving technical knowledge on feed formulation from the region’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.

In March 2022, construction of the mill began on a 1,000-hectare plot in Baler. It was jointly funded by the Bureau, the Department of Agriculture, and the National Fisheries Research Institute.

Milling and mixing equipment is being installed in the facility, and warehousing is being set up, according to Politiko.

Aquaculture in the Philippines

In 2022, total aquaculture production amounted to almost 2.35 million metric tons (mmt), according to the Philippines Statistics Authority.

Representing a year-on-year increase of 4.6%, the sector now accounts for 54% of the nation’s total fisheries production. In the two previous year, aquaculture production volume had contracted.

In 2019 — the latest year for which data have been published — the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization puts total farmed fish and shellfish production in the Philippines at 858,000 metric tons (mt), then valued at more than US$2 billion. Main species produced were milkfish (410,000 mt), Nile tilapia (174,000 mt), other tilapia species (105,000 mt), and giant tiger prawn (45,700 mt).

For the 2022-23 marketing year, the Philippines achieved a 2% year-on-year increase in the output volume of aquaculture species. This is according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service in a report published in December 2022. Comprising mainly milkfish, tilapia and tiger shrimp, this source puts the nation’s total production at 778,000 mt.

This year, substantial new investments were announced to expand and improve feed production in the Philippines. Among these was a new commercial fish feed mill under construction in the Western Visayas region.

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