Over the last few years the cultured fish production, mainly tilapia, carps, pangas, koi (Anabas), shrimp and prawn, has increased significantly, resulting in increasing demand for feeds. The Government of Bangladesh’s vision for 2020-21 targets fish production of 4,552,000 tonnes of fish, of which feed-based aquaculture will play vital role in terms of national and household-level food security, employment and income generation, particularly for people living in rural areas.
Considering the importance of aquafeed the government has formulated the Fishfeed and Animal Feed Act, 2010 and Fishfeed Rules, 2011, to assure the quality of feed inputs, provide balanced feeds at different life stages, control adulterants, extend policy support and ensure optimum aquaculture growth. Licenses are required for the establishment and operation of feed factories, for import/export of feeds and ingredients, and for sale of feed.
The number of feed producers, importers and retailers is growing rapidly, in line with the expansion of the aquaculture industry. Feed production increased from 0.8 to 1.5 million tonnes between 2013 to 2016, while demand has increased from 1.8 to 2.5 million tonnes over the same period.
The most common types of feeds in use are nursery feeds usually in the form of mash and starter feeds in the form of mash or crumble. Depending on fish size, grower and finisher feeds as pellets are also applied. The main fed cultured species are crps (rui, mrigal, sarpunti, common/mirror carp), catfish (pangas, Heteropneustes, Clarias), tilapia (mainly monosex, GIFT), freshwater prawns and shrimp (mainly Penaeus monodon) and climbing perch (Anabas).
The government has established minimum standards for feeds. Officials are empowered to examine feed samples in government approved laboratories at any stage of marketing. Non complying feed will be seized and forfeited and the concerned person/company is subject to penalties under the Feed Act.
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