The Aquaculture Innovation Challenge (AIC) aims to find innovators boasting great sustainability solutions that target the Indonesian shrimp industry. Currently, AIC judges are deliberating over the second round of applications, as contestants eagerly await news of which five will go on to the boot camp and final pitching event to be held near Jakarta in June. The Global Aquaculture Alliance has presented some of the candidates.
One of the contestants is Vitomolt, an herbal extract containing a chemical substance similar to the molting hormone in crustaceans and produced by certain plants naturally. “Several previous studies found that ecdysteroids play a role in increasing protein retention, stimulating muscle protein synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism, lipid biosynthesis and as an immune-stimulant and antioxidant,” said Dr. Yushinta Fujaya to Global Aquaculture Alliance.
Noticing that shrimp have a low protein retention rate, Vitomolt promises to increase retention, reducing the amount of feed needed. “Using VitoMolt increases the bottom line of farmers and reduces the environmental pressure resulting from farming waste products and the production of fishmeal,” said Fujaya, noting that reducing the amount of undigested protein in shrimp excrement will also reduce the risk of disease outbreaks.
Already being applied commercially for soft shell crab culture and having been tested for shrimp and lobster, the product promises to lower the production cost of shrimp, without reducing the quantity or quality of the shrimps produced- lowering the barrier to entry for more smallholder farmers.
Another successful applicant is Vannamei 101, one of the biggest shrimp seed producers in Asia and an aquaculture consulting and training company founded in 2006 by David Kawahigashi. The company presented Synbiotics that works to boost productivity, efficiency, and sustainability with a holistic approach that combines the use of prebiotics, probiotics and fermentation to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.
“The aim of this innovation is to develop and market a pre-mix of the fermented rice bran (FRB) to both traditional and intensive culture farms in Indonesia to improve their efficiency and reduce environmental impact,” said Kawahigashi to Global Aquaculture Alliance.
Of the 14 applicants that submitted their round-two applications, five innovators will head to the AIC boot camp. There, they will be supported to develop their business plan and pitch deck during an intensive three-day workshop, leading up to the final pitching event where they will get the opportunity to present their business plans to an international audience of industry professionals from the public sector, private sector, scientific and investment community.