The potential for increased food fish production through the sustainable development and intensification of aquaculture within many developing countries, and in particular within Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs), is considerable. For example, in 1995, developing countries and LIFDCs produced over 87% and 76% of total global aquaculture production, with the sector growing at an average compound rate of 11.4% and 13.4% per year over the past decade, respectively.
However, if this potential is to be realized and maintained in the form of semi-intensive or intensive farming systems, then considerable quantities of nutrient inputs, either in the form of fertilizers, supplementary feeds or complete compound aquafeeds, will have to be provided on a sustainable basis; the required quantity of dietary nutrient inputs usually far exceeding finfish and crustacean output by a factor of 3 to 6. Sadly, despite the fact that feeds and feeding usually represent the largest operating cost item of most semi-intensive and intensive farming operations, little or no collated information exists concerning the available fertilizer and feed resources of most developing countries, including LIFDCs, which can subsequently be used by the resident aquaculture sector (whether they be farmers, feed manufacturers, research scientists, or government planners and policy makers) for the development of national aquaculture feeding policies and strategies. Clearly, the resident aquaculture sector must be made aware of 1) the national agricultural feed and fertilizer resources available to them and when, 2) who is currently using these resources and how, 3) the composition and cost of these resources at source and with transportation, 4) the status of the existing animal feed manufacturing industry and its regulations, and 5) how they obtain and best use the available feed resources (whether they be poultry manure, rice bran or imported fishmeal) within their own dietary feeding strategies. Such an approach is essential if developing countries are to maximize their use of locally available feed resources, and so reduce their dependence upon imported fertilizers and feed ingredient sources and ready-made compound aquafeeds, and consequently reduce nutrient input costs and base feeding policies and strategies upon the use of sustainable feed ingredient sources and feed lines.
This document was prepared within the framework of the aquaculture nutrition and feed development activities of Dr. A.G.J. Tacon, Fishery Resources Officer (Feed Specialist), Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service (FIRI) and in particular the activity Resource Use and Management in Aquaculture: Feed and Fertilizer Resource Atlases of LIFDCs for Aquaculture Planning and Development (FIRI Programme element 670/21). Although the present atlas was based on a survey conducted by the consultant Mr. Cruz in 1995/1996, it is hoped that the atlas will be of use to aquaculture workers in the Philippines and will serve as a template for regular updating by the appropriate competent national authority (ie. preferably as a database), and will also serve as a model for other developing countries wishing to compile similar atlases or databases.
The paper is based on a comprehensive survey conducted by the
author in 1995/1996 concerning the feed and fertilizer resources of the
Philippines and their availability and use by the resident aquaculture sector.
Presented in the form of an illustrated atlas, the report compiles information
on the fertilizer and feed resources of the Philippines, where they are
geographically located, how much is available and when, who is currently using
this resource and how, the composition and cost of this resource at source and
with transportation, together with an assessment of the status of the existing
animal feed manufacturing industry and its regulations, together with
information on the feeding strategies employed by the aquaculture sector. It was
estimated that approximately 45-75% and 85-95% of the feed ingredients currently
used within commercial aquafeeds for fish (i.e. mainly tilapia and milkfish) and
marine shrimp were composed of imported feed ingredients, respectively, as
compared with only 20-30% for livestock and poultry feeds.