Fish farmers in Uganda are crying foul over the high price
of fish feeds.
The price of fish feeds imported from Egypt, Israel and the Netherlands
goes for 6,000, 7,000 and 8,000 Shillings per kilogram. The farmers argue that this is on
the higher side compared to fish feed imports from Kenya that go for 3,000
shillings per kilogram.
In Uganda, the price ranges between 3,650 to 7,000 Shillings from
local fish feed manufacturers, but farmers shun local feed due to the poor quality.
Phillip Adome, a manager of Salaama Fish farm in Busia says imported fish feeds
range from 6,000 to 8,000 shillings and are imported from the Netherlands. He
says the ingredients in the local fish feeds are not worth the money and sink
Adome says because of the high cost of fish feeds, the fish are fed less which
makes them grow small in number and size, reducing the
fish farmers’ income at harvest.
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Joel Emanu, a proprietor of Geossy Fish Farm says he sometimes buys fish feed
in Uganda at 5,000 Shillings, but it is expensive and has resorted to smuggling
fish feed from Kenya at a cheaper cost of 3,000 Shillings compared to 5,000 to
8000 Shillings when one directly imports the feed.
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Dickson Lufafa, the proprietor of Lake Victoria Precious Fish farm in Mukono
says fish farming is a science that requires research about feeding formulae
and breeding based on the environment the fish breed in.
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Catherine Agoe, a Fish Pathologist at Kajjansi Aquatic Research Development
Centre (ARDC) says a new fish feed formula was developed at a cheaper price to
allow fish farmers in Uganda access quality feed at a lower cost.
One kilogram costs 3,650 shillings from Kajjansi fish food factory and farmers
have embraced it to feed their fish.
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Agoe, says the protein levels have been increased in the new fish feed formula,
the energy levels also balanced and feed consumption rate per fish is higher
because the feed remains afloat the water for the fish to eat.
The formula contains soya bean meal, silverfish, rice bran, fish meal,
earthworms, spirulina, and vitamins and minerals. These are mixed accordingly
in certain percentages with protein foodstuffs highest at 30%.