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BFAR Promotes Pangasius as Alternative Fish Diet

PHILIPPINES - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Cagayan Valley is now encouraging fish farmers involved in "Pangasius" fish culture to engage in a non-traditional fish diet to cut food costs and thereby increase their income.

BFAR is now promoting an alternative or indigenous diet for 'Pangasius' which was proven to boost its growth at a shorter period.

"Pangasius can easily grow to more or less 1 kilo in 6 months. To do so, the fish also requires more feeds as compared, for example, to tilapia," Dominador Abalos said during the Harvest Field Day on pangasius culture in cages here on Wednesday.

He claimed that Pangasius offers more income compared to other popular cultured fish types which require higher capital ranging from 3.50 to 7 pesos a piece, which can only be sourced all the way from Nueva Ecija province and the cost of commercial feeds, which has been determined to account nearly 80 % of total production cost.

BFAR said their project in Cabarroguis, Quirino can significantly cut on feed expense by mixing golden snail (kuhol) with commercial feeds.

Their project consists of 9 cages with dimension of 3m x 3m x 2meters stocked with 144 pieces 9 grammers (2–3 inches) fingerlings each.

According to Abalos, two feeding treatments were made – the first 5 cages with pure commercial feeds and the rest, a mixture of 60% commercial feeds and 40% kuhol.

After a 6-month culture period, the project implementers have determined that growth is even higher for the stocks fed with kuhol compared to those fed with commercial or synthetic feeds.

Harvest weight averaged at 712.5 grams compared to 676 grams for the stocks fed with commercial feeds. "The savings on feed expense translate to 45.75% return on investment as against 20% only for the treatment on pure commercial feeds," Abalos explained.

He said that the good growth can be attributed to the high crude protein (CP) content of kuhol which is around 54%.

Production expense averaged at 6,023 pesos per cage for the first treatment and 5,293 pesos for the second.

the Fish Site Editor

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