ASA/WISHH and Texas A&M Partner for ‘Huge Understanding’ of Aqua Feeds

Sep 10, 2020

ASA’s World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) program recently trained strategic partners from four African countries on improved feed production—making great strides on its strategy for improving local fish feed production and processing.

As a result of completing the WISHH and Texas A&M University training, Jerry Mang’ena, who leads an aquaculture enterprise in Tanzania, analyzed ingredient variability among their feeds used for various fish growth stages, closely examining the protein content and moisture levels.

Using funds from USDA’s Foreign Market Development and Agricultural Trade Promotion Programs, WISHH paid registration costs for 15 African aquaculture industry professionals to attend Texas A&M University’s Aquaculture Feed Extrusion, Nutrition & Feed Management online short course.

Texas A&M converted their popular in-person training program to a virtual format held Aug. 31 – Sept. 4, 2020. The aquaculture entrepreneurs’ commitments to the training included adjusting their work schedules to accommodate the training hours.

Participants represented companies that WISHH works with in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and Togo.

Jerry Mang’ena, the director of Aqua-Farms Organization, an enterprise based in Tanzania that trains fish farmers on sustainable and economically competitive aquaculture practices, indicated that he and his team learned ways to improve their feed production. They started adopting the new practices the morning after they completed the training. One new step they are taking, is to assess the differences—including protein and moisture content—of their current two sources of feed. They are also evaluating protein content of different feeds they will use for various fish growth stages.

“The basics we have obtained opened up our huge understanding on the technology and biology of making best fish feeds, and this training has just ignited us to speed up the establishment of the first industrial-scale production unit in Tanzania, and build up our long-lasting collaboration with WISHH,” Mang’ena said.

WISHH will provide follow-up to trainees through in-country technical assistance and participation in trade teams. WISHH’s team of aquaculture consultants will continue answering technical questions through email until they are able to visit with these companies in person.

Citing a 527% rise in global aquaculture production from 1990 to 2018, the State of the World’s Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) 2020 report affirms the trends driving WISHH’s work in aquaculture, including aqua feeds, in emerging and developing countries. The report states, “The priority should be to further develop aquaculture in Africa and in other regions where population growth will challenge food systems most.”