FAO helps Indonesian farmers to produce low-cost feed for pangasius

Published on
January 3, 2020

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has assisted farmers in producing low-cost feed for pangasius aquaculture in Indonesia, Antara reported 23 December.

In a pilot project, the FAO collaborated with Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries to help local farmers in South Sumatra produce the feed, which is made of silage and palm karnel milk. The feed has the same quality with products made by factories.

The project, "Supporting Local Feed Self-Sufficiency for Inland Aquaculture in Indonesia," cost USD 257,000 (EUR 231,844) and was implemented during 2017-2019, according to the FAO’s website.

As the pilot project yielded positive results in South Sumatra, the Indonesian ministry expects the FAO to continue to help pangasius farmers in other regions produce low-cost feed.

"We will introduce this self-produced fish feed to other pangasius farmers in the country. We expect that the FAO will continue to support the country's aquaculture industry, mainly in terms of providing solutions to deal with future challenges," Indonesian Ministry Aquaculture Director General Slamet Soebjakto said.

Soebjakto said he hopes the use of the self-produced, low-cost fish feed will enable Indonesia to raise pangasius production and export the fish to the Middle East, Europe, other countries in Asia, and the United States.

Soebjakto also urged local governments to offer financial support to pangasius farmers, including offering at least a 10 percent subsidy in the fish feed production cost.

The Indonesian ministry has encouraged local farmers to produce feed to cut down production costs and increase profits. Feed has a 70 percent contribution to production cost in fish farming and the use of self-produced feed can cut down production cost by at least 30 percent, Soebjakto said.

Vietnam, the biggest pangasius producer in the world, has viewed Indonesia and other producers as potential competitors in the pangasius export market. Currently, a majority of Indonesia’s output is consumed domestically, but the country is looking at ways to increase its pangasius exports, especially to the Middle East.

The Indonesian Catfish Industry Association (APCI) in collaboration with the Indonesia Fisheries Ministry and SMART-Fish Indonesia launched a new promotional program, “Indonesian Pangasius: The Better Choice,” at the SEAFEX 2018 exhibition in Dubai-UAE. The country also promoted “Indonesian Pangasius” at The Indonesian Expo 2018 and 2019 Hajj and Umrah Exhibition in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

In May 2019, Indonesia completed its first shipment of three containers of pangasius to Saudi Arabia.

In 2018, pangasius production in Indonesia rose by 22.2 percent to 391,151 metric tons from 2017, said APCI.

Photo courtesy of Chaiwattc/Shutterstock

Contributing Editor reporting from Hanoi, Vietnam

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