SEAFDEC upgrades feed mill to boost production of low-cost aquafeeds
The center acquired new equipment to increase its production capacity by 400%. The feed mill produces sinking and floating aquafeeds for abalone, grouper, mangrove crab, milkfish, pompano, seabass, shrimp, siganid and tilapia.
March 26, 2020
The Philippine Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) raised $29,370.45 to upgrade the low-cost, eco-friendly aquafeed mill in Tigbauan, Iloilo.
The center acquired a 5-layer dryer and an extruder to increase its production capacity by 300 kilograms per hour or 2,400 kilograms per 8-hour workday. The extruder is used to produce both sinking and floating aquafeeds.
“The recent upgrade increased the production rate by almost 400%. With an additional extruder, production will not be impeded by the periodic downtime for maintenance or unexpected breakdowns,” said Joseph Biñas, head of the Nutrition and Feed Development Section of SEAFDEC’s Aquaculture Department (AQD). Before the upgrade, the feed mill can only produce 500 kilograms per day due to the limited capacity of the dryers.
The feed mill produces diets for abalone, grouper, mangrove crab, milkfish, pompano, seabass, shrimp, siganid and tilapia as well as feed ingredients that are utilized for research projects of SEAFDEC and non-SEAFDEC researchers and graduate students. It also accepts orders from private hatcheries that need maintenance feeds for marine fish breeders and larvae which are not readily available commercially.
New extruder (left) and 5-layer dryer at SEAFDEC/AQD's feed mill.
Cheaper and more eco-friendly
Since feed represents more than 50% of the production cost in aquaculture, SEAFDEC is mandated to formulate and test feeds that use cheaper alternative ingredients that are less dependent on wild-sourced fish. SEAFDEC’s fish nutrition experts have been striving to find more sustainable alternative sources of protein from aquatic and terrestrial plants as well as animal by-products.
“Our fish nutrition experts are currently developing low-cost feeds for various aquaculture species that could greatly benefit the fish farmers in lowering their production cost,” said Dan Baliao, chief of SEAFDEC/AQD. “With the improvement of the production capacity of our feed mill, we are most likely to achieve our goal,” added Baliao.