The dominance of multinational companies over shrimp feed in India may soon end, thanks to a local feed developed by the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture (CIBA), Chennai, which will benefit aquaculture farmers in a big way.
Branded as Vannamei Plus, the cost-effective product has been made out of locally available ingredients and indigenous feed manufacturing technology. It was successfully demonstrated in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, where it received good harvest results.
The feed is priced at Rs. 60/kg against the current price of available products, which is in the range of Rs. 75-85, KK Vijayan, Director of CIBA, said recently.
The feed price, he said, has been on the rise since the introduction of Vannamei shrimps in India, driving production cost upwards and reducing profitability. The shrimp feed market at large has been dominated by MNCs.
Opening of feed mill production units with indigenously developed formulated feed would provide a cost effective choice to domestic farmers along with popular feeds of multinational companies.
Today, the feed accessibility as per requirements is a constraint for many of the small and medium farmers with the supply regulated through authorised chains. The size of the Rs. 4500 crore Indian shrimp feed market is about 0.6 million tonnes, he said.
Vijayan, who was here to witness the harvest using the new feed in Kodungallur, said that the development of a local product would contribute to the profitability and sustainability of shrimp farming.
Using this newly developed feed, the cost share of feed to produce one kg of shrimp was Rs. 91 against Rs. 140 with commercial feeds. The usage of low cost feed has given scope for domestic farmers to reduce Vannemei production cost.
K Ambashankar, Principal Scientist and in-charge nutrition group, CIBA said that the feed with 36 per cent protein and an impressive feed conversion ratio (FCR) along with a proven cost advantage could be popularise among the small and medium scale feed mills across major shrimp farming areas in the country.
Source : Business Line