Twenty Southeast Asian nationals completed BIOTROP’s First Regional Training Course on Optimizing Locally Available Resources in Fish Feed Formulation for Sustainable Small-Scale Aquaculture Production which was held on 11-15 November 2013 at An Giang University (AGU), An Giang Province, Vietnam.
In aquaculture production, feed contributes the most to the product weight of the fish but, at the same time, comprises more than 70 percent of the production cost. It is along this premise that BIOTROP developed this training course in collaboration with AGU which is a promising university in aquaculture in Vietnam. Thus, the training couse, in general, was aimed to increase the number of human resources that are equipped with practical knowledge and skills in ensuring a consistent supply of cost-effective and high quality fish feed from locally available materials in their respective areas towards a more sustainable livelihood for households engaged in small scale aquaculture production and meeting local fish demands in Southeast Asian countries.
In his welcome remarks during the opening program, Associate Prof. Vo Van Thang, AGU Rector, emphasized the significant contribution of aquaculture production to the economic growth of a country due to the high demand for aquaculture products from regional and global markets. He said that AGU collaborated with BIOTROP to offer the course because Southeast Asian countries have knowledge and experiences in utilizing locally available resources as feed ingredients for aquaculture production which should be shared towards achieving sustained economic growth in the region.
On the other hand, SEAMEO BIOTROP Director Dr. Bambang Purwantara, in his opening remarks, said that the focus of the training is one of the priority areas under the Centre’s program thrust on tropical biology for community welfare. He elaborated that for reason of cost and availability of ingredients, there is a need to reduce and replace a proportion of fish meal in the dietary with locally available animal by-products and plant-based materials. This, he opined, would help small scale fishermen to improve the food security of their own family, income generation, and livelihood stability. At the same, sustained production at the small-scale level could contribute to overall national production to meet local and external fish market demands.
The training course’s opening program was also witnessed by officials and staff of the Consular Office of the Republic of Indonesia in Ho Chi Minh City and the Andalas University. The Indonesian Consulate General, Mr. Tri Suryo, congratulated BIOTROP and AGU for jointly organizing the training course and wish the participants to learn additional knowledge and skills as well as build networks among them continuously share their experiences towards the advancement of small-scale aquaculture production in the region.
The training consisted of lecture-discussions, practical works, and field trip. Topics for lecture-discussions and practical works covered the following:
1.Trends and Challenges in Small Scale Aquaculture Industry in Southeast Asia
2.Overview of home-made fish feed manufacturing
3.Overview on Feed Ingredients Processing
4.Cost Benefit Analysis of Fish Feed Formulation
5.Selection of raw ingredients and enrichment
6.Feed ingredients processing
7.Fish feed formulation and manufacturing
8.Packaging and labelling
9.Site location, design, and maintenance of the manufacturing facilities
10.Maintenance of fish feed manufacturing plant
The participants also had the chance to interact with local fish farmers and feed manufacturers and observed their operations during a one-day field trip along the Mekong Delta river.
Resource persons and facilitators during the training course were Dr. Nur Bambang Priyo Utomo, Dr. Jess C. Fernandez, and Mr. Slamet Widodo Sugiarto from SEAMEO BIOTROP; Dr. Dedi Jusadi from Institut Pertanian Bogor, and Dr. Chau Thi Da from AGU. Course Coordinators were Dr. Nur Bambang and Dr. Vo Lam of AGU.
As a course requirement, the participants turned in action plans per institution they represented. These action plans were presented in a plenary session during the last day of the training course to solicit interest for collaboration between and among the participants’ institutions. (JF)