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Analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development in Egypt



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Analysis of feeds and fertilizers
for sustainable aquaculture
development in Egypt
Abdel-Fattah M. El-Sayed
Oceanography Department, Faculty of Science
Alexandria University, Alexandria
Summary 402
1. Introduction 403
2. Aquaculture practices and farming systems 403
3. Aquaculture feeds and feeding 407
4. The use of fertilizers in aquaculture 412
5. Farm management and feeding strategies 413
6. The animal feed industry 414
7. Problems and constraints 418
8. Future perspectives 419
9. Recommendations 420
Acknowledgements 420
References 421
Appendix 422
El-Sayed, A-F.M. 2007. Analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture
development in Egypt. In M.R. Hasan, T. Hecht, S.S. De Silva and A.G.J. Tacon (eds).
Study and analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development.
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No. 497. Rome, FAO. pp. 401–422.
Study and analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development
Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing animal production sectors in Egypt. During
the period 1984 to 2004, production has increased from 15 000 tonnes (9.8 percent of
total fish production) to 471 535 tonnes (54.5 percent of total fish production). The rapid
growth of the sector is expected to continue due to the availability of aquatic resources
and energy inputs, including feed and fertilizer resources.
Aquaculture in Egypt is practiced mainly in semi-intensive and intensive farming
systems. Over 85 percent of aquaculture production is obtained from semi-intensive
fish culture in brackish-water earthen ponds. Polyculture of Nile tilapia, mullet and
carp is the most important semi-intensive culture practice. Nile tilapia contributes over
40 percent of production.
The success or failure of aquaculture depends mainly on the availability and
accessibility of inputs, including feeds and fertilizers. However, little information is
available on feed and fertilizer resources. The available information indicates that there
are no standardised feeding and fertilization schedules. This is particularly important
as aquaculture depends mostly on organic fertilization. With the exception of fishmeal
and soybean meal, feed ingredients that are commonly used in aquafeeds are available
in adequate volumes. However, the prices of most of the ingredients have increased
substantially during the past few years.
Poultry manure is the most important organic fertilizer used in ponds. It is estimated
that the amount of poultry manure used in aquaculture represents about 3.5–10.0 percent
of total poultry manure production. It is expected that poultry manure will remain
the major pond nutrient input and hence the proportion of the total poultry manure
production used by aquaculture will increase substantially in future. Inorganic fertilizers
are rarely used by Egyptian fish farmers and current use represents about 0.01 percent of
the national inorganic fertilizer consumption. It is unlikely that there will be any serious
competition for fertilizers between aquaculture and agriculture, at least in the short term.
Many factors affect pond fertilization including water quality, soil chemistry, season, pond
dynamics, and economics. Pond fish farmers in Egypt rarely consider any of these factors and
fertilize their ponds on a “trial and error” basis, in addition to adopting each other’s practices.
Therefore, fertilization rates and frequencies in many areas are insufficient to produce the
required natural food for the fish. Most of the ponds are fertilized only once, just prior to
fish stocking and farmers mainly rely on processed commercial aquafeeds (25 percent crude
protein) from as early as three days after stocking. This practice could be a costly mistake. In
well-fertilized ponds supplementary feeding can be delayed for up to two months resulting
in significant savings. As a result of inappropriate feed and fertilization regimes, pond yields
are generally low, ranging from 2.5–6.0 tonnes/ha/production cycle (7–10 months).
The commercial aquafeed industry in Egypt is growing at a rapid rate. Current
production is about 250 000 tonnes/year, which is about 10 percent of the total animal
feed production in Egypt. It is expected that the annual production of aquafeeds will
increase to 1.2 million tonnes/year within 10 years. Compressed (sinking) pellets, with
a crude protein content of 25 percent, comprise the bulk of the aquafeeds produced
in Egypt. Extrusion technology for making floating pellets was introduced in the mid
1990s, and the market for extruded feeds is growing. In contrast, farm-made feeds are
rarely used by the Egyptian fish farmers.
The main constraints faced by the farmers and the aquafeed industry include, among
others, the escalating price of ingredients, high customs tariffs on feed ingredients, poor
handling and storage of feed ingredients and finished feeds, small-scale farmers are unable
to access finance, the need for extension services and limited research on fish nutrition,
feeding and pond fertilization. Recommendations to address these problems are provided
to assist farmers and aquafeed producers to use the available resources in the most
sustainable manner and to assist decision makers to adopt best management practices for
sustainable aquaculture development in the country.
Analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development in Egypt 403
Fish culture has been practiced in Egypt since 2500 B.C. (Bardach, Ryther and
McLarney, 1972). The country has about 80 000 ha of brackish-water and freshwater
bodies in addition to coastlines of about 1000 km each on the Mediterranean Sea and
the Red Sea (Figure 1). These aquatic resources are ample for the sector to expand
substantially in future. Between 1995 and 2004, total fish production in Egypt increased
by 115 percent from 407 000 to 865 029 (Figure 2). In recent years the Egyptian
government has paid particular attention to the aquaculture industry and, as a
result, production has increased from 15 000 tonnes in 1984 (9.8 percent of total fish
production) to 471 535 tonnes in 2004 (54.5 percent of total fish production). During
the same period, capture fisheries only grew by 13.9 percent, from 345 400 tonnes to
393 494 tonnes and over the last five years (2000–2004) capture fisheries have remained
more or less static (Figure 2).
The success or failure of aquaculture depends mainly
on the availability and accessibility of energy inputs,
including feeds and fertilizer resources. This means that the
availability of as much information as possible on the source,
nature, quantity, quality, prices, seasonality, production,
import, export, manufacturers, and distribution of feed and
fertilizer among the various users is vitally important for
the sustainable development of the sector.
This study reviews the current status and trends of
feed and fertilizer use in Egyptian aquaculture. First-hand
information was obtained by interviewing farmers and
industry representatives and by way of a questionnaire
that was distributed among fish farmers and aquafeed
Aquaculture in Egypt consists of extensive, semi-intensive
and intensive farming systems. Fish farms are distributed
throughout the Nile Delta region and concentrated mainly
in the Northern Lakes areas (Figure 3).
The following sections briefly describe
the major farming systems and production
technologies and Table 1 summarizes the
2.1 Extensive culture
Traditional extensive farming systems are
characterized by low level of intervention,
limited use of inputs, low capital investment
and poor management. These farms were
constructed by reinforcing embankments
of natural enclosures, like lagoons, rivers
and lakes. The size of these enclosures
(hosha) vary from 1–20 ha. Fish (mainly
tilapia) are trapped in the hosha and rely
on natural food. The net yield from these
systems is low and varies from 250–750
kg/ha. This form of aquaculture has been
a traditional practice in the northern lakes
Aquatic resources of Egypt
Source: Modified from Hamza (1996)
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Fish production in Egypt during 1995–2004
Source: GAFRD (2005)
Study and analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development
region for many years. The practice
has recently been prohibited,
because of the destructive effects on
lake fisheries and the environment.
However, hosha culture is still
illegally practiced in some areas
and the production from these
systems is generally not captured in
aquaculture production statistics.
2.2 Semi-intensive earthen
pond culture
Semi-intensive fish culture
in earthen ponds is, by far, the
most important farming system
in Egypt. About 86 percent of
aquaculture production is obtained
from these systems. Semi-intensive
fish production has increased from
182 000 tonnes in 1999 to 401 765
tonnes in 2004 (Table 2), although the proportion as a percent of total aquaculture
production has remained fairly stable at 87.7–90.5 percent over the same period. Pond
culture is practiced mainly by the private sector and consists of many small-, medium-
and large-scale farms. The private sector produced 464 320 tonnes in 2004 (98.5 percent
of total pond production), whereas the government farms produced 7 183 tonnes
(1.5 percent).
Major aquaculture production regions in Egypt
Source: Modified from Hamza (1996)
An overview of freshwater and brackish-water aquaculture systems in Egypt, 2005
System Culture species
Size of
Fertilization and
size (g)
Total yield
Polyculture Tilapia, mullets,
seabass, carps,
Varies 5 to over
Depends mainly on
available natural food,
without fertilization
9–14 varies 0.25–0.75
1. Polyculture
in brackish-
water pond
mullets, carps
15 000–
30 000
Varies 0.5–13.0 2–5 tonnes poultry
manure + 29 kg super
phosphate + 18 kg
urea/ ha; 25% CP feed
7–12 200–300
2. Monoculture Tilapia (mainly
15 000–
30 000
0.5–2.0 2–5 tonnes poultry
manure + 29 kg super
phosphate + 18 kg
urea/ ha; 25% CP feed
7–9 200–400 5–10
Intensive culture
Monoculture Tilapia (mainly
50 000–
100 000
0.25–0.50 35–40% CP feeds at
the beginning, reduced
to 25% CP during
7–10 200–400 15–25
Polyculture Tilapia + grey
50 000 3:1 0.5–1.0 36% CP feeds at the
beginning, reduced
to 25% CP during
9–12 200–300 15–20
Cage culture Tilapia (mainly
600 m3
35–40% CP feed at the
beginning, reduced
to 25–30% CP during
8–14 300–400 25–35 kg/m3
CP = crude protein
Source: author’s field survey
Analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development in Egypt 405
Fish ponds vary in size from 0.5–13.0 ha
with a depth of 50–150 cm and are stocked
at a density of 15 000–30 000 fish/ha. Nile
tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), mullets
(Mugil cephalus and Liza ramada) and carp
(big head carp, silver carp and black carp) are
the major culture species, although tilapia
and mullet represent 75 to over 90 percent of
the fish in most of the farms in the northern
Delata lakes, particularly in Kafr El-Shaikh,
Edku, Maadia and Borollus regions. Many
farmers in the Central Delta and in Upper
Egypt practice polyculture of tilapia and
carp. Carp is generally not farmed under
monoculture conditions. The contribution by other species, such as seabream, seabass
and clariid catfish is minor (Tables 3 and 4). Marine fish such as seabream and seabass
are cultured in brackish-water ponds under polyculture conditions with mullet, mainly
in Domiat. The ponds used for polyculture of marine fish are generally large (8–20 ha
each) and the fish are stocked at relatively low densities (2 500 fish/ha) at a ratio of 6:3:1
(seabass: seabream: mullet, respectively).
Brackish-water and freshwater ponds are generally constructed in depressed irrigated
lands or saline lands. Substantial areas of inland lakes, particularly in the northern
Delta lakes and Maryut Salt Valley near Alexandria are also enclosed and transformed
into production ponds in which fish are produced under semi-intensive, polyculture
conditions. Semi-intensive, polyculture in earthen ponds is practiced mainly in brackish-
water environments. In 2004, about 85 percent of total aquaculture production originated
from brackish-water ponds, while the remainder was produced in freshwater ponds,
cages and rice fields (GAFRD, 2005).
Production in semi-intensive systems varies from 5–10 tonnes/ha/production
cycle (7–12 months). Monoculture of Nile tilapia is also practiced semi-intensively in
many areas (particularly where consumer demand for carp is low). During the period
Aquaculture production (tonnes) by species and production systems in 2004
Species Production system Total % of total
FW pond1 BW pond2Rice field Cage
Nile tilapia 1 920 176 863 20 255 199 038 42.20
Common carp 17 203 17 203 3.60
Mullets (two species) 132 651 132 651 28.10
Carps (bighead, silver and black) 87 674 30 148 117 822 25.00
Gilthead seabream 2 465 2 465 0.52
European seabass 1 812 1 812 0.38
African catfish (Clarias sp.) 160 299 459 0.10
Bayad (Bagrus spp.) 85 0.02
Total 2 080 401 850 17 203 50 403 471 545 100
1 Freshwater intensive pond; 2brackish-water semi-intensive pond
Source: GAFRD (2005)
Proportion (%) of total production of each species in
2004 by farming system
Species Semi-intensive
Nile tilapia 37.5 4.72
Common carp (in rice field) 3.65 -
Mullet 28.1 -
Carps (bighead, silver and black) 18.6 6.43
Gilthead seabream 0.52 -
European seabass 0.38 -
African catfish 0.1 -
Total 88.85 11.15
Source: calculated based on total production
Aquaculture production (thousand tonnes) in different production systems from 1999–2004
Production system 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Rice field 10.0 16.4 18.4 16.3 17.0 17.3
Cage 12.9 16.1 23.7 28.2 32.1 50.4
Pond 182.0 307.6 300.8 331.8 396.1 403.8
Total 204.9 340.1 342.9 376.3 445.2 471.5
Source: GAFRD (2005)
Study and analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development
1999–2004, the average production in semi-intensive pond culture has increased from
4 to 6 tonnes /ha/year (GAFRD, 2005).
The cost of labour in semi-intensive aquaculture varies between regions. In Kafr El-
Shaikh and Behaira, a 10-ha farm requires 2 permanent workers, with a monthly salary
of about US$50 per person (US$800–1 000 per 8–10 month cycle) plus an additional
cost of about US$100–120/ha for crop harvesting and other seasonal works. Thus, the
total labour cost is about US$180–220 US$/ha/cycle (average cost is about US$200). An
average budget for a 10-ha semi-intensive pond farm is summarized in Table 5.
2.3 Intensive cage culture
Cage culture is rapidly developing, particularly in the Domiat and Rashid (Rosetta)
branches of the Nile River and in the northern Delta lakes region (Lake Manzala and
Lake Borullos) (Figure 4). Production from cages has increased from 12 900 tonnes in
1999 to 50 403 tonnes in 2004, and now contributes 10.6 percent of total aquaculture
production. Nile tilapia is the principal cage culture species. The sizes of the cages vary
from small cages of around 32 m3 to larger cages of around 600 m3.
In the larger cages (10x10x6 m), tilapia fingerlings (1–10 g) are stocked at 80–
100 fish/m3 and are initially fed with 35–40 percent CP pellets and then switched over
to a 25–30 percent CP pellet for the fattening period, either manually or with automatic
feeders. After 10–14 months the fish reach an average weight of 400 g and the final
biomass at the end of the production cycle is around 35 kg/m3. Some farmers stock
their cages with larger fish (40–60 g) and in this way are able to reduce the production
cycle to 6–8 months.
Enterprise budget in US$ for a 10-ha semi-intensive pond culture farm in Egypt, 2005
Item Quantity Unit cost Cost (US$/ha) Cost (US$/10 ha)
Total income 6 1 230 7 380 73 800
Variable costs
Feed (tonnes) 12 234 2 808 28 080
Seed (x1000 fish) 25 10 250 2 500
Fertilizer (tonnes) 3 20 60 600
Labour (US$/person/cycle) 2 200 200 2 000
Miscellaneous cost (electricity, water,
transportation, gas, etc)
600 600 6 000
Fixed costs
Pond rental 400 400 4 000
Total cost 4 318 43 180
Returns to risk and management 3 062 30 620
Source: author’s field survey
Culture of Nile tilapia in cages in Rashid (Rosetta) branch of the Nile River, near Rashid (left) and in small
cages (2–4 m3) suspended in a drainage canal in a rural area in Behaira Governorate (right)
Analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development in Egypt 407
Smaller cages (2–4 m3) suspended in drainage canals are also used in rural areas.
Stocking densities are lower (20–40 fish/m3) and agricultural by-products and kitchen
wastes are provided as feed. Production in these cages is low (5–10 kg/m3) but it is still
profitable because of the low capital and input costs.
The Egyptian government has recently adopted a policy to promote cage culture of
tilapia. The “Social Development Fund” and the Agricultural Development and Credit
Bank provide loans for tilapia cage culture enterprises to new university graduates
who can not find jobs within the public or private sector. The government funds the
feasibility study (free of charge), assists in the construction of cages, site selection,
and sometimes provides seed at a subsidised price. Production form theses cages
(6x6x2 m) range form 1.5–2.0 tonnes/6–8 month cycle. This programme has been very
2.4 Intensive pond culture
Intensive pond culture is also developing in many areas in Egypt, especially in the
newly reclaimed agricultural lands in the desert. Nile tilapia (mainly monosex) is the
major cultured species in intensive systems. All male tilapia are produced through oral
administration of 17α-methyltestosterone. In these systems fish are stocked at 50 000–
100 000 fish/ha and fed with commercial feeds (25–30 percent CP) and reach 200–>400 g
in 7–10 months. Some farmers feed the fish with 35–40 percent CP feeds at the beginning
and then switch to a 25 percent CP pellet during the grow-out stage.
Intensive polyculture using Nile tilapia and mullet (Mugil cephalus and Liza ramada)
is practiced in Kafr El-Shaikh. Fish are stocked at about 50 000 fish/ha (37 000 tilapia and
13 000 mullet) and fed on commercial pellets. The fish attain 200–300 g after 9–12 months
and production ranges from 15–20 tonnes/ha.
2.5 Integrated aquaculture
Rice is widely cultivated in Egypt and integrated rice/fish farming has attracted the
attention of many rice farmers in recent years. Fish production (mainly common carp)
in rice fields has increased from 10 000 tonnes in 1999 to 17 203 tonnes in 2004 at annual
average yields of 300–500 kg/ha (GAFRD, pers. comm.)
In the Kafr El-Sheik Governorate1 some farmers practice integrated wheat and
alfalfa/fish farming, by planting wheat and/or alfalfa in their ponds in winter and
flooding them in spring. The crops are not harvested and let to rot in the ponds
providing nutrients for fish production. However, more research is needed to
investigate this practice.
3.1 Major feed ingredients
Both local and imported fishmeal is widely used in aquafeeds in Egypt. Fishmeal is
imported from Denmark, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Norway, Japan, Morocco and Yemen.
Imported fishmeal contains 60–72 percent crude protein. Several factors constrain the
use of imported fishmeal and these include:
the price of imported fish meal (65–68 percent CP) has increased from US$591/
tonne in 1996 to US$720 in 2004, although this was mainly due to the sharp decline
in the value of the Egyptian pound against the US$;
the increasing demand for fishmeal by aquafeed manufacturers, coupled with
shortages on the international market has led to intense competition within the animal
feed industry. The rapid expansion of the aquafeed industry in Egypt will intensify the
competition for fishmeal and this may lead to further price increases; and
3 Governorates are the administrative divisions in Egypt. Egypt consists of 26 governorates.
Study and analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development
the quality of fishmeal is often affected by transportation, inadequate storage
facilities and distribution.
Local production of fishmeal is negligible. The annual production by a single producer
is 200–400 tonnes (Edfina Preserved Foods Company, pers. comm.) and crude protein
content ranges form <25–60 percent.
There are no official figures of the volumes of fishmeal used in the aquafeed industry.
However, based on the author’s questionnaire and interviews it was estimated that
about 10 000–20 000 tonnes of fishmeal is currently used by the aquafeed industry.
Shrimp meal
Shrimp meal is locally produced from a small shrimp, which is harvested from brackish-
water and coastal lagoons (Port Foad lagoon) near Port Saied. The shrimp is sun-dried,
milled, packed and used as a protein source in animal feeds and aquafeeds. The shrimp
meal contains about 52 percent crude protein.
Abattoir and poultry by-products
Abattoir by-products, including blood meal, meat meal and meat and bone meal
are produced by government abattoirs. Similarly, full-fat poultry by-product meals
(consisting of feather, blood, heads, legs and offal) are produced by large-scale poultry
production companies These commodities have reasonably good protein levels (50–65
percent CP) and are sold at reasonable prices and are used as partial fishmeal replacers
in aquafeeds. The demand for these by-products by the aquafeed industry is not high
because of increasing consumer concerns with respect to mad cow disease and other
potential health hazards.
Soybean meal
Soybean meal (SBM) is the second most important protein source used by the aquafeed
industry, after fishmeal. SBM is imported mainly from the United States of America and
Argentina. There is considerable discrepancy as to the volumes of soybean products
that are imported. FAO (2006) reported that 927 352 tonnes of soybean products were
imported in 2004 (214 893 tonnes of soybeans and 712 459 tonnes of soybean cake),
Most of the locally produced and imported SBM is used by the animal feed industry.
In 2003, the cattle and poultry industry used 102 755 and 107 986 tonnes of soybean
products, respectively (MALR , 2006). In 2003, total aquafeeed production was around
250 000 tonnes (Osman and Sadek, 2004a; Mansour, 2005) and at an average inclusion
level of about 20 percent suggests that about 50 000 tonnes of SBM is currently used in
commercial aquafeed production.
During the period 1999–2004, local soybean production fluctuated between 10 518
and 43 425 tonnes per annum, but this production was sharply reduced to 25 821
tonnes in 2005 (Table 6). The price of soybean meal increased from US$323/tonne in
1995 to US$462 in 2002 and in 2004 decreased to US$308/tonne, due to the devaluation
of the Egyptian pound against the US$.
Cotton seed meal
Cotton seed meal (CSM) is produced mainly in the corticated form (with hulls)
containing about 27 percent crude protein. A limited amount of decorticated CSM,
containing about 41 percent CP, is also produced. Until recently cotton seed meal was
the most important plant protein in aquafeeds, due to its availability and low price.
However, due to the sharp decrease in cotton production in Egypt (El-Sayed, 1999,
CAPMS, 2006) soybean meal is now the preferred plant protein source. Traditionally
cotton oilseed cake was mixed with energy sources (mainly wheat bran or rice bran) and
water to form dough that was fed to farmed fish.
Analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development in Egypt 409
Wheat bran
In 2004, Egypt produced 7.2 million
tonnes of wheat. In addition some
6.5 million tonnes were imported
from the United States of America,
Argentina, Australia and France.
Wheat bran production in 2004
amounted to some 2 million tonnes
(Table 7). Wheat bran is the most
commonly used energy source
in animal feeds and in 2003 some
704 263 and 3 991 tonnes were
used for cattle and poultry feeds,
An estimated 50 000 tonnes of wheat bran is currently used per annum in aquafeeds
by commercial feedmills and for farm-made feeds. Wheat bran is included at relatively
low levels (10–20 percent) in commercial aquafeeds.
Rice bran
In 2004, Egypt produced about 6.35 million tonnes of rice and 130 000 tonnes of rice
bran. The seasonal nature of the crop leads to fluctuations in availability and price. A
small, although not quantified, quantity is used in aquafeeds.
In 2004, total maize production was around 5.84 million tonnes of white maize and about
150 000 tonnes of yellow corn. Yellow corn is used mainly by the animal feed industry.
In 2003, some 510 000 tonnes of yellow corn was used for cattle and poultry feeds.
Egypt imported 2.4 million tonnes of yellow corn in 2004 (Table 8). The commercial
aquafeed industry also depends mainly on yellow corn. Inclusion levels range from 30
to 50 percent and it is estimated that about 75 000–125 000 tonnes of yellow corn is
currently used per annum in commercial aquafeed production.
Fats and oils
The major plant oils produced in Egypt are cotton seed oil, soybean oil and corn oil,
plus some quantities of sesame and sunflower oil. In 2004, some 375 000 tonnes of oils
Production (thousand tonnes) of major agricultural crops during 1999–2005
Crop 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Wheat 6 564 6 564 6 255 6 625 6 845 7 180 8 144
Rice 5 816 6 001 5 227 6 105 6 175 6 351 6 124
Maize 5 437 5 650 6 094 5 677 5 682 5 842 NA*
Kidney bean 307 354 440 401 337 331 282
Sugar beet 2 560 2 890 2 858 3 168 2 692 2 861 3 430
Sugar cane 15 254 12 697 15 572 16 030 16 246 16 335 16 317
Vegetables111 963 13 133 12 709 12 561 14 364 13 367 NA*
Cotton 439 483 457 483 481 637 522
Soybean 19.0 11.0 14.9 17.7 28.7 43.4 25.8
Sunflower 20 30 44.1 35.0 31.6 44.3 30.4
Peanut 2 407 2 496 2 734 2 547 2 611 2 552 2 658
Flax seed 10.3 10.9 16.9 19.9 29.0 39.4 14.6
1includes tomato, potato, marrow, haricot, kidney bean, pea, cabbage, aubergine, green pepper, okra, sweet
potato, lettuce, carrot, cantaloupe and strawberry.
*Not available
Source: MALR (2006)
Production of major feed ingredients in Egypt in
(thousand US$)
Fishmeal <1
Soybean meal 43 6 670
Cotton seed meal 300 25 000
Wheat bran 2 000 200
Rice bran 130 1 083
Yellow corn 150 22 500
Plant oils1375 312
1Include cotton seed oil, soybean oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil
and corn oil.
Source: CAPMS (2006)
Study and analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development
were produced (Table 7). Because of
the downturn in cotton production,
Egypt has had to import large volumes
of plant oils. In 2004, some 115 503
tonnes of sunflower oil, 91 702 tonnes
of soybean oil and 875 169 tonnes
of vegetable oils were imported
(Table 8). Plant oils are used mainly
for human consumption, while only
a small amount (about 125 tonnes) is
used by the aquafeed industry. Fish
oil is not widely used in animal feed
and aquafeeds in Egypt due to its high
costs. Only about 15–20 tonnes of fish
oil are locally produced. However,
imported fish oil has jumped from
24 tonnes in 2003 to 620 tonnes in
2005 (Table 8).
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and mineral mixtures are
mainly imported for livestock and
poultry feed manufacturing. A number of national factories are currently producing
vitamin and mineral premixes for fish and crustaceans. No data is available on the
imports of vitamins and minerals
Feed additives, including binders, antioxidants, antibiotics, mould inhibitors, enzymes,
and chemo-attractants have become essential components in animal and aquafeeds. All
are readily available but expensive and their use in animal and aquafeeds in Egypt is
Nutritional composition
The proximate analyses of the major ingredients that are commonly used as feeds or
feed ingredients in aquaculture are presented in Table 9.
3.2 Fertilizer resources
Organic fertilizers
Livestock dung and poultry droppings are the main sources of organic fertilizer in
Egypt. Livestock manure production (excluding poultry droppings) has increased
from 222 million cubic metres (on a wet weight basis) in 1996 to about 300 million
cubic metre in 2004. During the same period, poultry manure production has increased
from about 1.6 million cubic metres (about one million tonnes) to over 2 million
tonnes. It should be noted that a considerable proportion of livestock and poultry is
raised by villagers, which is not recorded in the official statistics.
Inorganic fertilizers
Between 1996/7 and 2004/5, production of inorganic fertilizers increased from 3.96 to
11.9 million tonnes (Ministry of Investment, pers. comm., 2005). Fertilizer production
and consumption is summarized in Table 10. There are six fertilizer factories in Egypt
and production exceeds national demand. Despite the production of nitrogenous
fertilizers in excess of demand, there is an annual shortfall during the summer (May to
July) and this is due to the requirements for sugar cane, maize and cotton farming.
Imports and exports of major food/feed commodities in 2004
Commodity Quantity
(thousand US$)
Unit value
Wheat 4 366 842 727 652 170
Yellow corn 2 429 279 364 817 150
Soybean 214 893 64,508 300
Soybean cake 712 459 214 374 300
Broad (kidney) bean, dry 314,003 93,255 300
Lentils 88,937 43,901 500
Sesame seed 32 095 27 232 850
Sunflower seed oil 115 503 72 461 630
Soybean oil 91 702 55 622 610
Fish oil (2005) 620 16 000 9 920
Vegetable oils 875 169 360 560 421
Fishmeal 15 217 9 118 600
Meat meal 92 534 30 455 330
Cattle offal 13,754 16,826 1 220
Beef and veal, boneless 102 386 180 758 1 770
Molasses 406 870 41 279 100
Hydrogenated oils 17 103 13 528 790
Vegetable oils 12 547 10 057 802
Source: FAO (2007)
Analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development in Egypt 411
3.3 Agricultural calendar
Understanding the agricultural farming calendar is crucial for aquaculture practices in
general and the aquafeed industry in particular. The agricultural cycle in Egypt includes
two major cropping seasons; summer crops and winter crops. A third minor season is
also exists and known as “Nile crops”. Nile crops are generally summer crops, but the
cultivation starts in mid/late summer. The agricultural calendar for Egypt is presented
in Table 11.
Chemical composition (percent as fed basis) of feed ingredients commonly used in animal and
fish feeds
Ingredient Moisture Crude
fibre NFE Ash
Plants and plant by-products
Green roughages
Alfalfa (first cut) 86.2 2.1 0.7 2.4 5.9 2.7
Alfalfa (second cut) 85.5 1.9 0.4 3.8 6.4 2.0
Alfalfa (third cut) 73.4 3.7 0.6 7.5 11.5 3.3
Corn plant 78.7 1.5 0.5 4.4 12.7 2.2
Sudan grass (first cut) 85.1 1.3 0.4 4.4 7.2 1.7
Sudan grass (second cut) 71.2 2.6 0.8 7.0 15.2 3.2
Sweet corn (first cut) 92.5 0.6 0.2 2.1 3.8 0.8
Sweet corn (second cut) 77.0 1.9 0.6 5.5 12.7 2.4
Sugarcane leaves 71.1 1.3 0.2 7.7 15.5 4.1
Dry forages
Alfalfa hay (first cut) 9.1 7.0 0.3 27.7 43.2 12.7
Alfalfa hay (third cut) 10.5 10.0 1.9 27.4 40.5 9.7
Wheat straw 10.2 4.2 1.9 22.2 45.5 16.0
Barely straw 10.2 4.1 1.5 21.8 44.1 18.2
Beans straw 13.9 4.0 0.6 19.0 51.3 11.3
Corn cobs 11.3 2.4 0.3 31.4 51.8 2.9
Grains and legumes
Wheat 11.1 8.3 1.8 3.8 73.3 1.8
White corn 10.3 9.1 4.8 7.2 67.1 1.4
Yellow corn 7.9 8.3 2.9 2.1 82.5 2.1
Sorghum 11.0 9.2 4.2 2.9 82.7 1.2
Barely 13.2 10.1 1.6 8.2 77.1 3.0
Kidney beans 9.8 28.0 1.0 5.7 50.7 5.5
Soybean meal 13.5 45.5 16.9 7.5 24.6 5.5
Cotton seed meal (with hulls) 7.5 27.1 8.5 21.4 27.2 6.9
Cotton seed meal (without hulls) 7.1 44.4 10.1 5.2 25.7 7.5
Sesame seeds (with hulls) 9.0 30.2 14.4 18.0 20.1 17.4
Lentil seed cake 18.5 13.3 10.7 7.1 35.2 7.5
Rice, broken, polished 9.2 11.0 7.8 1.1 75.9 4.2
Rice bran 10.5 13.0 12.1 10.3 57.2 7.5
Wheat bran, coarse 12.0 11.1 3.6 17.8 63.8 4.3
Wheat bran, fine 12.0 17.1 3.0 9.4 65.5 4.5
Corn gluten 5.9 43.9 3.2 4.4 44.0 3.7
Sugarcane bagasse 3.2 1.3 0.4 51.1 44.5 2.7
Animal by-products
Blood meal 9.3 81.2 1.0 - - 5.3
Broken eggs 4.2 34.7 15.0 - - 25.5
Fishmeal (local) 10.3 65.3 10.5 - - 16.7
Fishmeal (imported) 9.0 70.0 6.1 - - 11.6
Animal gelatine 11.4 85.7 3.1 - - -
Meat and bone meal 4.6 61.8 6.0 - - 26.0
Poultry by-product meal 13.0 53.9 23.0 - - 18.2
Shrimp meal (local) 12.7 51.7 5.6 - - 26.9
NFE = nitrogen free extract
Source: modified from El-Sayed (1999)
Study and analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development
4.1 Organic fertilizers
Semi-intensive fish farming in Egypt depends exclusively on poultry manure for pond
fertilization. Fish ponds are fertilized at a rate of 2–5 tonnes/ha. Generally, manure is
applied prior to fish stocking (and seldom afterwards). There are no accurate records
of the total amount of organic fertilizers used in aquaculture. Given that there are
approximately 42 000 ha of fish ponds in Egypt it was calculated that between 70 000–
200 000 tonnes of organic fertilizers are used annually for fish pond fertilization. This
means that aquaculture annually uses about 3.5–10.0 percent of total poultry manure
production. The volumes used are expected to increase as aquaculture expands and as
farmers are educated in appropriate manuring practices. At present farmers use between
1.7–4.8 tonnes/ha/production cycle and it is expected that this will increase to over
10 tonnes/ha/production cycle in future.
4.2 Inorganic fertilizer
The use of inorganic fertilizers in Egyptian aquaculture is very limited. About 60 percent
of the farmers interviewed use inorganic fertilizers (urea and super-phosphate) in
addition to organic fertilizers, but only once at the beginning of the production cycle.
Very few farmers apply inorganic fertilizers when natural pond productivity decreases.
Super phosphate and urea are applied at 25–36 and 12–24 kg/ha, respectively. It is not
known what quantities of inorganic fertilizer are used in aquaculture. Based on the
available information it was calculated that about 300–600 tonnes of urea and 625–900
tonnes of super phosphate are currently used for pond fertilization, which if realistic,
Production, consumption, average local sale prices and export of inorganic fertilizers in Egypt
in 2004/2005
Fertilizers Production
Urea (46.5% N) 2 390 620 1 707 230 90 663 588
Ammonium nitrate (33.5% N) 1 301 999 1 302 904 91 1600
Ammonium sulphate (20.6% N) 112 507 121 139 84 -
Subtotal based on 15.5% N 10 135 383 8 098 641 1 994 222
Super phosphate
(15% P)
1 360 464 1 160 024 76 191 075
Triple super phosphate (37% P) 33 619 8715 141 26 401
Subtotal based on 15% P 1 443 391 1 181 521 256 197
Grand total 11 578 774 9 280 162 2 250 419
Source: Ministry of Investment (pers. comm.)
Agricultural cycle and cropping areas (ha) by season in Egypt during 1999–2004
Crops Farming
period Major crops Cultivated area (thousand ha)
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Winter crops Nov–May Wheat, alfalfa
kidney bean,
barely, sugar
beet, vegetables.
2 546 2 582 2 514 2 592 2 628 2 593
Summer crops Mar/Apr–
Rice, maize,
cotton, Sugar
cane, soybean,
2 445 2 399 2 506 2 543 2 777 2477
Nile crops Jun–Oct
Maize, corn,
249 259 246 253 259 255
Total 5 240 5 240 5 266 5 388 5 664 5325
Source: CAPMS (2006)
Analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development in Egypt 413
equates to around 0.01 percent of the total fertilizers used by agriculture. It is unlikely
that any competition will arise between agriculture and aquaculture.
Very little published information is available on aquaculture management in Egypt in
general, and feed management strategies in particular. The following section is based on
information obtained during interviews with fish farmers and feed manufacturers and
analysis of the data obtained from the questionnaires.
5.1 Pond preparation and fertilization
Despite the benefits, minimal attention is generally paid to pond preparation in Egypt,
although most of the ponds are drained and remain dry for a long period (3–4 months
after fish harvesting). The majority of pond fish farmers harvest their fish in early winter
and the ponds remain dry from about December/January to April. In most instances
the pond soil is not tilled and/or limed before starting the next production cycle. The
information obtained from interviews and the questionnaires also suggest that pond
fish farmers rarely adopt scheduled, optimum management practices. Instead most
farmers fertilize and manage their systems by trial and error and often adopt each others
practices. The general fertilization practice encompasses a single application of 1.5–3.0
tonnes/ha of dry poultry manure. Some farmers supplement this with super phosphate
and urea at application rates of 35 and 25 kg/ha, respectively. In general, no fertilizers are
applied during the production cycle. Many farmers pile the dry manure on the pond
dykes, where it is sprayed with water for a few days before it is washed into the ponds.
This process increases the fermentation rate and reduces the time to achieve maximum
primary production. In some areas, farmers use cow dung (instead of poultry manure)
for pond fertilization. They reported that the large particles of cow manure decay slower
than poultry manure and are also consumed by the fish.
As a result of inadequate fertilization rates natural pond productivity is low and
many farmers start feeding their fish with commercial feeds (25 percent CP) as early
as 3 days after stocking. Abdelghany, Ayyat and Ahmad.(2002) found that when Nile
tilapia, common carp and silver carp were reared in adequately fertilized ponds (bi-
weekly with 750 kg chicken litter/ha, 100 kg triple super phosphate and 20 kg urea/ha)
supplemental feeding could be delayed for up to 6 weeks, without any reduction in fish
yield, but with a significant reduction in feed cost. Generally, farmers were found not
to be aware of the fact that excessive fertilization leads to significant deterioration in
water quality and that this may result in high mortalities, low fish growth (and yield)
and economic losses.
Most farmers feed their fish manually twice per day, although the popularity of
demand feeders is increasing (Figure 5). In general, the findings revealed that there are
Manual feeding of cultured fishes at Barsiq Fish Farm (Behaira) (left) and feeding tilapia
with demand feeder at Hamool (Kafr El-Shaikh) (right)
Study and analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development
no standard pond management, fertilization and feeding practices. As a consequence, fish
yields are generally low compared with well-fertilized, well-fed ponds in other countries.
Fish yield range from 2.5–6.0 tonnes/ha/production cycle (of about 7–10 months). There
are a few exceptions where yield exceeds 7 tonnes/ha/cycle.
5.2 Cost-benefit analysis of pond fertilization
One of the four goals of pond fertilization is to optimize cost efficiency (Knud-
Hansen, 1998). This objective is of crucial importance within the framework of the
present report, because fertilization strategies are very often evaluated simply in
terms of their ability to enhance growth and production, without any consideration
of cost-efficiency. It is critically important that extension workers and researchers
consider economic as well as ecological implications when recommending pond
fertilization strategies (Knud-Hansen, 1998). Unfortunately, these factors are generally
not considered in Egypt. Hence, there is a need for detailed research on fertilization
regimens such that rural farmers, who generally have very little education and are
ignorant of the economic implications of their management practices, can maximize
their returns.
5.3 Farm-made feeds
Although used only by a small number of farmers, farm-made feeds are generally made
as follows (El-Sayed, 2006). Ingredients are purchased and sorted to remove impurities
or other objects that may damage the manufacturing equipment. The feedstuffs are
then milled and mixed according to certain formulations, water is added and the
compounded ingredients are cooked or steamed with starch as a binder. Moist strands
are extruded using a meat mincer, whereupon the strands are sun dried, broken up and
stored. The dry concentrate can also be fed to fish by filling jute bags and suspending
these in the water column, or alternatively moist feed balls are made and fed to the
Up to a few years ago, the majority of Egyptian fish farmers relied on farm-made feeds,
by mixing energy sources such as wheat bran, rice bran or ground corn with protein
sources (mainly local fishmeal or trash fish) at a 3:1 ratio. The mix was fed manually to
the fish either dry or wet. This practice was very common especially among small-scale
fish farmers. Other formulations include brackish-water shrimp, trash fish, chopped
tilapia (T. zillii) and local fishmeal as protein sources and wheat or rice ban as energy
sources. However, the availability of commercial aquafeeds at reasonable prices has
sharply reduced the dependence on farm-made aquafeeds. The major problems related
to farm-made feeds include the need for daily feed preparation, the absence of binders
and the consequent loss of nutrients and the absence of basic feed formulations. The
ingredients used for farm-made feeds and their inclusion levels vary from one area to
another and is mainly determined by availability and price.
In 2004, there were 57 registered animal feed factories (50 private and 7 public companies)
in Egypt that manufacture various types of feed (CAPMS, 2004). In addition, there are
many registered manufacturers/suppliers of feed additives, concentrates and binders.
The animal feed industry, including manufacturing, handling, distribution, importation
and exportation of processed feeds and feed components is regulated by law (Law 1498
issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation in 1996) to ensure feed
safety and quality. The animal feed industry in Egypt is mainly geared towards poultry
and livestock production. The production capacity and actual production of animal feeds
in Egypt during 2000/2001–2002/2003 are compared in Tables 12 and 13, respectively.
There is a considerable over capacity and the data show that animal feed mills could
increase their production by 797 000 tonnes (65 percent).
Analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development in Egypt 415
6.1 Commercial aquafeeds
The rapid expansion of aquaculture in Egypt during the past decade has increased the
demand for processed aquafeeds. The number of aquafeed mills has increased from 5
mills producing about 20 000 tonnes/year in 1999 (El-Sayed, 1999) to 18 mills with a
current annual production of about 250 000 tonnes (Mansour, 2005; Osman and Sadek,
2004a). Overall, this equates to about 10 percent of the total animal feed production
(2.6 million tonnes in 2003, including aquafeed production) in the country. The
estimated volume and value of major feed ingredients that are currently used by the
aquafeed industry are presented in Table 14.
Because Nile tilapia is the most important
aquaculture species in Egypt most of the
manufactured feeds are conventional, compressed
(sinking) pellets with a protein content of
25 percent. Pellet size ranges from 2–5 mm and
the feed is mainly used for semi-intensive culture
of tilapia, mullet and carp. A small proportion is
also used for intensive, monoculture of tilapia,
seabream and seabass, especially in cage culture
systems. The formulations of three commercial
feeds used in intensive and semi-intensive
aquaculture are given in Table 15. Despite the
different dietary requirements of the various
Animal feed production capacity in Egypt during 2000/2001–2002/2003
Type of feed Year
Public sector Private sector Total
(thousand tonnes)
(million US$)
(thousand tonnes)
(million US$)
(thousand tonnes)
(million US$)
2000/2001 1 527.2 209.4 1 525.8 240.8 3 053.0 450.2
2001/2002 1 286.1 164.6 815.2 111.0 2 101.3 275.6
Poultry feed 2002/2003 978.1 129.4 1 043.6 144.3 2 021.7 273.7
2000/2001 36.0 7.4 1 293.9 231.8 1 329.9 (523.5)* 239.2
2001/2002 36.0 8.6 454.6 67.2 490.6 (550.1)* 75.8
Total 2002/2003 36.0 8.0 278.8 91.2 314.8 (451.5)* 99.2
2000/2001 1 563.2 216.8 2 819.7 472.6 4 382.9 689.4
2001/2002 1 322.1 173.2 1 269.8 178.2 2 591.9 351.4
2002/2003 1 014.1 137.4 1 322.4 235.5 2 336.5 372.9
*Values in parenthesis are the poultry feed manufacturers production capacity as provided by the MALR (2005).
Source: CAPMS (2004)
Estimated volume and value of the major
ingredients used in aquafeed production in 2004
Ingredient Quantity
(thousand US$)
Fishmeal 10 000 7 290
Soybean meal 50 000 15 397
Yellow corn 100 000 16 045
Rice bran 30 000 7 293
Wheat bran 30 000 6 483
Corn gluten 10 000 1 459
Soybean oil 125 97
Vitamin and mineral premix 75 182
Source: Calculated by the author, based on the percentage of
each ingredient in the feeds.
Actual production and value of animal feeds in Egypt during 2000/2001–2002/2003
Type of feed Year
Public sector Private sector Total Average price
(US$/ tonnes)
2000/2001 646.0 88.4 628.0 99.1 1 274.0 187.5 147.3
2001/2002 577.0 85.9 738.5 102.7 1 315.5 188.6 143.4
2002/2003 458.5 59.9 766.7 105.0 1 225.2 164.9 134.6
Poultry feed 2000/2001 7.1 1.5 964.6 172.0 971.7 173.5 189.0
2001/2002 11.7 2.8 443.3 64.6 455.0 67.4 148.0
2002/2003 8.1 1.8 272.1 58.4 280.2 60.2 214.7
Total 2000/2001 653.1 89.9 1 592.6 271.1 2 245.7 361.0 160.8
2001/2002 588.7 88.7 1 181.8 167.3 1 770.5 256.0 143.3
2002/2003 466.6 61.7 1 038.8 163.4 1 505.4 225.1 149.5
Source: CAPMS (2004)
Study and analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development
species no specific feeds are made for carp, seabass and seabream. However, niche feeds
can be made if required, at a premium.
Particular attention has been paid to the nutritional requirements of Nile tilapia
under different culture conditions (see El-Sayed, 2006 for more details). The
Formulation and percent composition of compressed (25% crude protein) pellets
Ingredient Extruded
(private sector)
(GAMP*; government mill)
(GAFRD; government mill)
Soybean meal (44% CP) 19.0 22.0 21.0
Fishmeal (72% CP) 9.0 4.0 5.0
Corn gluten 5.6 3.8 2.0
Local meat meal (65% CP) - 8.0 11.0
Yellow corn 30.0 41.7 36.0
Rice bran 11.0 10.0 24.3
Wheat bran 24.0 10.0 -
Soybean oil 0.5 0.3 0.5
Fish oil 0.5 - -
Vitamin and mineral mix 0.4 0.2 0.2
Crude protein 25.0 25.0 25.0
Crude oil** 7.6 7.5 9.0
GAMP = General Authority of Milling and Polishing’; GAFRD = General Authority for Fisheries Resources
Development; **calculated, based on the lipid contents of the ingredients.
Source: Osman and Sadek (2004b)
Recommended levels of different alternative protein sources tested for Nile tilapia under
laboratory conditions. Levels tested are a replacement of conventional protein sources such as
fishmeal or soybean meal
Protein source Fish weight (g) Tested levels (%) Recommended levels (%)
Animal origin
Shrimp meal 20 100 100
FS + SBM or MBM,
PBM or HFM (1:1)
8 0–75 50–75
MBM + Methionine 0.011 40–50 50
MBM 20 100 100
BM 20 100 <100
HFM 0.01 0–100 66
HFM +/- EAA 4–5 10–50 30
Animal by-products 0.1 0–100 100
Chicken offal 10.8 0–20 20
Oilseed meals
SBM +/- Methionine 0.8 75 75
Soy protein concentrate 3.2 0–100 100
CSM +/- lysine 20 100 100
Grain legumes
Corn gluten feed + SBM 30 100 100
Corn gluten + SBM 30 100 100
Aquatic plants
Azolla (Azolla pinnata) 4–40 0–100 <25
Water-net (Hydrodictyon sp.) 1 0–100 20
Eleocharis ochrostachys 7 20–40 20–30
Curly pondweed
(Potamogeton sp.)
14.5 25–50 25
Duckweed (Lemna) 14.5 0–50 50
Duckweed (Spirodela) 13.9 0–100 30
FM, fishmeal; FS, fish silage; SBM, soybean meal; BM, blood meal; MBM, meat and bone meal; PBM, poultry
by-product meal; HFM, hydrolyzed feather meal; CSM, cotton seed meal; EAA, essential amino acids; Met,
Source: El-Sayed (2006)
Analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development in Egypt 417
recommended inclusion levels of various protein sources in Nile tilapia feeds is
summarized in Table 16, while the digestibility of several feedstuffs by this species is
given in Table 17.
Extruded (expanded, or floating) aquafeed technology was introduced into Egypt
in the mid 1990s with the establishment of a small unit with a production capacity of
500 tonnes/year (El-Sayed, 1999). Since 2001, a number of the established commercial
Presence of endogenous anti-nutrient factors and protein and organic matter digestibility by
Nile tilapia of commonly used feed ingredients
Ingredient Endogenous anti-nutrients1/* Digestibility (%)**
Crude protein Organic matter
Animal source
Fishmeal 72–94 58
Sardine meal 87 80
Tuna meal 82
Anchovy meal 90–94 86
Meat and bone meal 92.2
Poultry offal meal 74 59
Shrimp meal 87
Silkworm pupa meal 91.1
Plant source
Azolla 75
Duckweed 88.4–93.9*** 78.1–90.7***
Barely 1, 2, 5, 8
Brewers grains 66 42
Cassava 1, 4
Cooked cassava meal 74
Leucaena 23
Copra meal 56–81
Corn grain (raw) 1, 5, 8, 13 83 76
Corn grain (cooked) 90
Corn gluten meal 91–97
Cottonseed 5, 8, 10, 12, 23
Cottonseed meal 90
Cottonseed cake 90
Groundnut 1, 2, 5, 6, 8
Groundnut meal 79 72
Rapeseed 1, 3, 5, 7
Rapeseed meal
Soybean 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, 14,16, 17
Soybean meal 91–93 57
Sunflower 1, 7, 20
Sunflower seed cake 86–89 42
Wheat 1, 2, 5, 8, 11, 18, 22
Wheat germ meal 95.5
Wheat middling 76 58
Wheat bran 75 30
Rice 1, 2, 5, 8, 13
Rice bran 2
Kidney bean 1, 2, 5, 7, 22
Sorghum 1, 4, 5, 7, 18
Lentils 1, 2, 6
Alfalfa/lucerne 1, 6, 8, 12
1- Protease inhibitor, 2- Phytohaemaglutinins, 3- Glucosinolates, 4- Cyanogens, 5- Phytic acid, 6- Saponins,
7- Tannins, 8- Estrogenic factors, 9- Lathyrogens, 10, Gossypol, 11- Flatulence factor, 12- Anti-vitamin E factor,
13- Anti-thiamine factor, 14- Anti-vitamin A factor, 15- Anti-pyridoxine factor, 16- Anti-vitamin D factor,
17- Anti-vitamin B12 factor, 18- Amylase inhibitor, 19- Invertase inhibitor, 20- Arginase inhibitor, 21- Cholinesterase
inhibitor, 22- Dihydroxyphenylalanine, 23- Cyclopropionic acid.
Source: *Tacon (1992); **modified from El-Sayed (2006); ***El-Shafai et al. (2004)
Study and analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development
feedmills have started production lines for
extruded feeds in addition to their traditional
production lines. The market for extruded feeds
is growing in Egypt, despite the significantly
higher price over sinking feeds simply because
of better FCRs (Osman and Sadek, 2004b).
These findings are illustrated in Figure 6.
Since the mid 1990s the price of compressed
pellets (25 percent CP) has gradually increased
from about LE2 800–900 (about US$250–300)
to LE 1800 (US$292)/tonne in 2004 (Figure 7).
Similarly, the price of floating (extruded)
pellets has almost doubled in the last four
years, increasing from LE 1200 (US$295)/
tonne in 2001 to LE 2050 LE (US$332)/tonne
in 2004 (Osman and Sadek, 2004b). While the
price in US$ has fluctuated little, the increases
in LE have been substantial and this is due to
the exchange rate of the LE against the US$.
Surprisingly, farmers reported that the price
of both sinking and extruded feeds decreased
by about 5 percent in 2005, compared with
the previous year. They attributed this
reduction to increasing competition among
manufacturers and a slight increase in the
value of the Egyptian pound against the US$
in 2005 (US$1.00 = LE 6.17 and 5.70 in 2004
and 2005, respectively).
The current average FCR using compressed
pellets is 2.2:1 (Osman and Sadek, 2004b).
Therefore the total amount of manufactured
aquafeeds theoretically accounts for 113 000
tonnes of fish or 24 percent of total aquaculture
production (471 535 tonnes) in 2004. Hence
the bulk of fish production can theoretically
be attributed to natural food production in
the ponds, through fertilization. From this
it can be concluded that organic fertilizers
(chicken manure) currently constitutes the
most important pond input in Egypt.
The following problems and constraints have been identified:
1. The continuous increase in the price of feed ingredients, particularly imported
ingredients such as fishmeal, soybean, corn, oils and additives. This has lead to
parallel increases in feed prices.
2. The high custom tariffs and taxes on imported ingredients and manufacturing
equipment have contributed to rising feed costs.
3. Because of the rapid growth of aquaculture it is expected that there will be some
level of competition for raw materials between the aquafeed and the animal feed
industries, which may influence the price of feeds.
2 US$ = 5.68 LE (Egypt Pound, EGP)
Price (US$/tonne)
Extruded feed Pressed feed
Comparative prices and FCRs of extruded and
conventional pressed pellets (25%CP) for Nile tilapia
Source: Osman and Sadek (2004b)
1 000
1 500
2 000
2 500
1996 1 998 20 00 200 2 20 04
Yea r
Sinki ng pell ets-LE
Floating pellets-LE
Sinki ng pell ets-US$
Floating pellets-US$
Price of extruded and pressed aquafeeds (25%
crude protein) from 1996–2005 in US$ and LE
Source: Osman and Sadek (2004b)
Analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development in Egypt 419
4. The growing public misconception about the use of commercial aquafeeds or
farm-made feeds is of concern and must be addressed.
5. One of the most serious problems facing the aquafeed industry in Egypt is the
poor handling and sometimes abysmal storage facilities for ingredients and
finished feeds.
6. Small-scale farmers are constrained because of the lack of access to finance,
which makes them vulnerable to exploitation by suppliers of seeds, feeds,
fertilizers. Aquaculture inputs are purchased during the production cycle, but
payment is delayed until after the fish are harvested and sold. As a result, farmers
are generally supplied with low quality inputs, at high prices.
7. Lack of extension services to advise farmers on pond fertilization, feed
formulation and manufacture.
8. Fish farmers are generally unaware of proper fertilization strategies and methods
that should be adopted to optimise pond productivity.
9. The limited, and sometimes conflicting, statistical information on feed ingredients,
feed production and production capacity. Highly variable values of production,
prices, imports, exports, etc, of several ingredients have been reported by different
government authorities. This leads to a general mistrust of government statistics
and causes confusion among researchers, administrators and decision makers.
10. Limited research on fish nutrition, feeding and fertilization strategies. Key issues
pertaining to fish nutrition research and aquafeed technology were identified
in an Expert Consultation on Fish Nutrition Research and Feed Technology
facilitated by the WorldFish Center in December 2004 in Abbassa (summarized
by El-Sayed, 2004).
Between 1994 and 2004 aquaculture production has increased 7 fold from 56 600 tonnes to
471 535 tonnes. All indications are that aquaculture will continue to grow in Egypt. The
main concerns regarding the future expansion of the sector revolve around the availability
and accessibility of inputs and resources. Some aquaculture specialists believe that the
future growth of aquaculture will compete with the needs of agriculture, while others
discount this scenario. They believe that the continued expansion of the poultry industry
in Egypt will lead to the production of greater volumes of manure and that this will
compensate for the expected increase in demand for organic fertilizer by aquaculture. In
addition, the gradual shift from semi-intensive
systems to more intensive production systems
will increase the dependence on pelleted feeds,
thereby reducing the demand for organic
fertilizers. Competition for inorganic fertilizer
is also unlikely to occur, at least in the short
term. This is simply because the current use of
inorganic fertilizers in aquaculture is negligible
(about 0.01 percent of total production). In
addition, Egypt currently exports substantial
amounts of inorganic fertilizers (19 percent
of total production in 2004/2005), a small
proportion of which would satisfy the needs
of aquaculture.
Egypt’s aquaculture target is to produce
800 000 tonnes/year by 2014 (Mansour,
2005). This means that aquafeed production
is expected to increase to about 1.2 million
tonnes/year (Figure 8), assuming a FCR of
1 000
1 200
1 400
2 000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014
Aq uac ul tu re pr od uc tio n
Aq uaf ed pr od uc tio n
20 0
40 0
80 0
1 00 0
1 20 0
1 40 0
20 00 20 02 2 00 4 200 6 200 8 201 0 20 12 20 14
Aq ua cu lt ur e pr o du ct io n
Aq ua fe d pr od u ct io n
Projected aquaculture production and feed demand
to 2014
Source: Mansour (2005), GAFRD (pers. comm.)
Study and analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development
1.5:1 (instead of the current reported value of 2.2:1). It is expected that there will be
substantial competition for ingredients by the aquafeed and animal feed industries.
Accordingly, the prices of feed ingredients in general and imported ingredients in
particular, will increase. Small-scale fish farmers (and small-scale poultry and livestock
producers) are likely to be the most seriously affected groups. It is incumbent upon the
government to develop action plans to deal with the potential crisis in the animal and
aquafeed industries. It is also expected that feed manufacturers will make greater and
better use of non-conventional feed resources that are readily available and accessible
in Egypt.
The following recommendations are made for the sustainable development of
aquaculture in Egypt:
Despite the availability of many conventional and non-conventional feed
resources in Egypt, the sustainability, accessibility, prices and nutritional value
of these commodities have not been well-studied. This requires urgent attention.
Similarly, there is a need to conduct research on the comparative biological
and economic advantages of different organic fertilizers, re-evaluation of the
protein requirements of the various species under different culture conditions
and improving the digestibility of non-conventional, high fibre content feed
Small-scale farmers must be trained to manufacture and encouraged to use farm-
made feeds. This will lead to substantial reductions in feed cost and increased farm
Greater attention must be paid to feeding and fertilization strategies in semi-
intensive culture. Farmers must receive training in pond preparation and
management as well as fertilization and feed management.
Easier access to finance by small-scale farmers must be facilitated by
Custom tariffs on imported feed ingredients (such as soybean, fishmeal and
yellow corn) must be reviewed to reduce the price of finished feeds.
Aquafeed mills should be routinely monitored and inspected to assure that
production procedures, feed composition, packaging, handling, transportation,
storage and hygiene comply with the quality control standards set by government.
Extension services should be instituted by the relevant authorities (especially the
General Authority for Fisheries Resources Development) to improve feeding,
fertilization and farm management.
The government must undertake periodic reviews of the animal feed legislations
to ensure coherency and to reduce/eliminate any overlapping, redundant and
conflicting regulations.
Dialogue among and between producers and distributors of feed or feed ingredients,
fish farmers, research institutions and concerned government authorities must be
The public misconception about the use of commercial aquafeeds or farm-made
feeds must be addressed through appropriate educational programmes and the
The author gratefully acknowledges the following authorities for assistance and
providing information: Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics,
Ministry of Investment, General Authority for Fisheries Resources Development,
Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Information and Decision Supporting
Center of the Cabinet of Ministers, Edfina Preserved Foods Company (Domiat
Analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development in Egypt 421
Factory) and Fish Farmers’ Association at Kafr El-Shaikh. Sincere thanks also go to
Dr Ismail Radwan (a fish farmer at Hamool, Kafr El-Shaikh) and Mr Ahmed Zytoun
(a fish farmer at Maadia, Behaira) for providing their own private data, and also for
facilitating my visits to many fish farms in their regions. I would also like to thank
Mr Refaat Sherif, Advisor to the Minister of Investment, for providing recent data
on fertilizer production, consumption, import and export. The information provided
by Prof Elham Wassef and Dr Alaa El-Haweet (National Institute of Oceanography
and Fisheries, Alexandria) is also appreciated. The assistance of the many fish farmers
whom I visited and interviewed is also highly appreciated.
Abdelghany, A.E., Ayyat, M-S. & Ahmad, M.H. 2002. Appropriate timing of supplemental
feeding for production of Nile tilapia, silver carp, and common carp in fertilized
polyculture ponds. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, 33: 307–315.
Bardach, J.E., Ryther, J.H. & McLarney, W.O. 1972. Aquaculture: the farming and
husbandry of freshwater and marine organisms. New York, Wiley Interscience. 868 pp.
CAPMS (Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics). 2004. Animal feed
industry 2002/2003. Cairo, Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. 8 pp.
CAPMS (Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics). 2006. The statistical year
book, 1995-2004. Cairo, Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. 413 pp.
El-Sayed, A.-F.M. 1999. Aquaculture feed and fertilizer resource Atlas of Egypt. Regional
Office for the Near East, Cairo, FAO. 105 pp.
El-Sayed, A.-F.M. 2004. An overview of fish nutrition research in Egypt. Expert
Consultation on Fish Nutrition Research and Feed Technology in Egypt. Abbassa, Abou
Hammad, Sharkia, Egypt, 2 December 2004, World FishCenter. (Unpublished)
El-Sayed, A.-F.M. 2006. Tilapia culture. Wallingford, Oxon, UK, CABI Publishing. 277 pp.
El-Shafai, S.A., El-Gohary, F.A., Verreth, J.A.J., Schrama, J.W. & Gijzen, H.J. 2004.
Apparent digestibility coefficient of duckweed (Lemna minor), fresh and dry for Nile
tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.). Aquaculture Research, 35: 574–586.
FAO. 2007. FAO Fisheries Department, Fishery Information, Data and Statistics Unit.
Fishstat Plus: Universal software for fishery statistical time series. Aquaculture production:
quantities 1950-2005, Aquaculture production: values 1984-2005; Capture production:
1950-2005; Commodities production and trade: 1950-2004; Total production: 1970-2005,
Vers. 2.30 (available at
GAFRD (General Authority for Fisheries Resources Development). 2005. Fisheries statistics
year book. Cairo, General Authority for Fisheries Resources Development. 140 pp.
Hamza, A.K. 1996. Aquaculture in Egypt. World Aquaculture, 27: 14–19.
Knud-Hansen, C.F. 1998. Pond fertilization: ecological approach and practical applications.
Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture CRSP. Corvallis, Oregon, Oregon State University. 125 pp.
Mansour, A.M. 2005. Improvement of aquafeed industry and development of fish farms.
Al-Sayyad (bi-monthly bulletin), December 2004/January 2005. 15 pp. (Arabic)
MALR (Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation). 2005 and 2006. Economic
indices (available at
Osman, M.F. & Sadek, S.S. 2004a. Industrial fish feed production development in Egypt.
Abbassa, Abou Hammad, Sharkia, Egypt, WorldFish Center. (Unpublished)
Osman, M.F. & Sadek, S.S. 2004b. An overview of fish feed industry in Egypt - challenges
and opportunities. Expert Consultation on Fish Nutrition Research and Feed Technology
in Egypt. Abbassa, Abou Hammad, Sharkia, Egypt, 2nd December, 2004, WorldFish
Center. (Unpublished)
Tacon, A.G.J. 1992. Nutritional fish pathology - morphological signs of nutrient deficiency
and toxicity in farmed fish. FAO Fish. Tech. Pap. 330, Rome, FAO. 75 pp.
Study and analysis of feeds and fertilizers for sustainable aquaculture development
Nutritional requirement of aquaculture species
A.1. Dietary protein and lipid requirements (percent of dry feed) of some aquaculture species in
Species Life stage Crude protein Crude lipid
Nile tilapia Fry 40–45 10–15
Fingerlings 35 10
Growout 25–30 6–9
Broodstock 40 10
Gilthead seabream Fingerlings 50–60 15–28
Growout 45–50 15–22
European seabass Fingerlings 45–50 10–20
Growout 40–45 10–-15
Grass carp Fry 41–43 4
Common carp 3–40 <12
Source: Collected by the author from the literature
... First, the lack of animal feed in Egypt is attributed to the absence of extension services to assist small-scale farmers in improving their skills on feed formulation, feed manufacture, and feed management (El-Sayed, 2007).75 to 80 percent of the dairy sector in Egypt consists of small-scale farmers (Tibbo, n.d.), so inappropriate feed formulation, feed manufacture, and feed management have detrimental effects on the overall milk production. ...
... Second, the shortage of animal feed in Egypt is due to the escalating costs of feed additives and ingredients that have discouraged small-scale farmers to manufacture farm-made feed (El-Sayed, 2007). ...
... Furthermore, the shortage of animal feed in Egypt emanates from the food-feedfuel competition (El-Sayed, 2007). ...
... Extensive systems are characterized by a low level of intervention, restricted use of inputs, low capital investment and poor management (El-Sayed 2007). The farms were developed from natural water enclosures, such as lagoons, rivers and lakes, through reinforcement of their embankments. ...
... The farms were developed from natural water enclosures, such as lagoons, rivers and lakes, through reinforcement of their embankments. The fish trapped in these enclosures (known as hosha in Arabic) rely strictly on natural food, and this usually results in a lower yield (about 250-750 kg/ha) (El-Sayed 2007). This form of aquaculture is predominantly found around the northern lakes, but the destructive tendency of this system on lake fisheries and the environment has led to its abolishment (El-Sayed 2007), though some such farms still exist (El-Sayed 2007). ...
... The fish trapped in these enclosures (known as hosha in Arabic) rely strictly on natural food, and this usually results in a lower yield (about 250-750 kg/ha) (El-Sayed 2007). This form of aquaculture is predominantly found around the northern lakes, but the destructive tendency of this system on lake fisheries and the environment has led to its abolishment (El-Sayed 2007), though some such farms still exist (El-Sayed 2007). ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report provides a comprehensive assessment of existing and potential feed resources for improving aquaculture productivity in Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, Egypt, Nigeria and Zambia. These countries depend heavily on imports for their supply of quality feed ingredients. The viability and feasibility of ingredients for aquafeed production are scrutinized based on a number of criteria, including availability (more than 1000 t per year), affordability, nutritional value, associated constraints (presence of antinutritional factors and mycotoxins), feed-food competition, environmental impact and sociocultural implications. A comprehensive literature search (both grey and peer-reviewed) coupled with national and international databases were used to create lists of available feed ingredients in each country. Additional information was derived through administration of semi-structural questionnaires to fish farmers, feed manufacturers, ingredient suppliers and other feed experts. In general, ingredients of plant origin are commonly available in the countries surveyed. The most common plant protein sources are soybean meal, mustard oil cake, sesame meal, sunflower meal, groundnut cake, copra cake, palm kernel cake and cotton seed meal. Animal protein sources are limited to by-products such as poultry meal, feather meal and blood meal. In addition, energy and fiber ingredients are abundantly available and are mainly of plant origin. Novel feed ingredients such as insects, algae, worms and single-cell proteins could be considered as future feed ingredients once they are deemed available. Information on nutritional composition and digestibility of ingredients produced in the targeted countries is scarce, and where it exists it is non-exhaustive and disjointed. Therefore, holistic nutritional analyses of these ingredients are recommended in the future. Moreover, substantial efforts should be dedicated at improving the use of these ingredients in the feeds for various fish species cultured in each country.
... In addition, the protein value (52.97% and 55.85%) of indigenous trash fish with no economic value falls within high-quality fish meal with a slight difference ( Table 2). One of the studies conducted by (El-Sayed, 2007) reveals the significantly higher growth performance of Cirrhinus mrigala fingerlings on a 40 percent protein diet. The research findings on the nutritional requirements of fish and the advances in fish feed composition reveal that there is the provision of partial or complete replacement of fishmeal with these novel protein and energy sources. ...
... The research findings on the nutritional requirements of fish and the advances in fish feed composition reveal that there is the provision of partial or complete replacement of fishmeal with these novel protein and energy sources. Some of the other comprehensive reviews (FAO reports) for protein requirement for Nile tilapia have been reported to vary from 28-30 percent for ongrowing fish, 30-35 percent for juveniles, 35-40 percent for fry and fingerlings, and as high as 45-50 percent for larval growth and survival (El-Sayed, 2007;Farias et al., 2004;Cruz et al., 2008). ...
Full-text available
Background: The worldly fish meal is utilized as a rich source of protein in animal feed formulation. The high price and curtly supply of fish meal encouraged us to find some indigenous informal sources of protein and energy for economical and desirable feed preparation. Materials and Methods: A profiled biochemical analysis of poultry by-products such as chicken offal excluding feathers and skin, head and neck, internal (chicken viscera), and two local trash fishes with high breeding and growth rate were analyzed to find nutritional value and low processing cost. Results: The desirable protein and energy content was determined in chicken head and neck whereas the lowest were found in chicken feet. In chicken internals and chicken composite meal, the protein and energy content was 46.4532%, 3484 Cal/kg and 44.6397%, 2705 Cal/kg respectively. The protein and energy level of karo dayo (Oreochromis mosumbicus) was 55.85 %, 3236 Cal/kg while kari mundhi (Channa punctatus) possess 52.97%, 2705 Cal/kg. The aflatoxin level was found below the threshold level and these ingredients are safe for feed preparation and utilization. Conclusion: The nutritional value of these chickens by-products and local trash fish confers as a good source of protein and energy. These could be used as a partial or complete replacement of existing conventional protein and energy sources in fish feed formulation while these ingredients are very low cost and easily available to fish growers.
... The expansion of fish farming in Egypt has been accompanied and driven by rapid expansion of the aquaculture feed industry with significant investment by national and international companies to increase production levels of existing factories as well as establish new factories (El-Sayed, 2007El-Sayed et al., 2015;Wally, 2016). There has also been a shift towards the use of extrusion processing in many of these businesses, a process that results in more digestible feeds where the pellet density can be controlled, allowing feed pellets to float, giving fish farmers greater control over feed management (El-Sayed et al., 2015;Wally, 2016;White et al., 2018). ...
... While earlier studies indicated that the most common feed type sold to Egyptian fish farms was 25% protein feed (El-Sayed, 2007;El-Sayed et al., 2015), the current study indicates that there is a shift towards feeding higher protein levels to enable farmers to intensify production and reach market size in a shorter time. About 65-90% of extruded aquafeed production is now 30% protein feed. ...
The aquafeed industry acts as a critical development driver along the entire Egyptian aquaculture value chain. This study aimed to analyze the competitiveness of the aquafeed subsector in Egypt, comparing its performance in 2018 with the results from an earlier study based on 2013 data. The current situation, the market and regulatory environment, key risks and potential mitigation measures were all assessed. The key private sector players and their competitiveness within the aquafeed value chain were also identified. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through a desk review of existing information on the sector, followed by a structured questionnaire that was drafted and distributed to a targeted number of fish feed mills, representing large-scale, medium-scale and small-scale companies, covering different geographical and production regions. The results revealed that the Egyptian aquafeed subsector faced dramatic changes over the five year period from 2013 to 2018. The number of feed mills increased by 67% from an estimated 60 mills in 2013 to around 100 mills in 2018. As a result, Egyptian aquafeed production increased over 77%, from an estimated 800,000 mt to 1,419,000 mt over the same time period. There has been significant local and foreign investment in the fish feed industry in recent years, especially in aquafeed extrusion technology. The sector is dominated by medium-scale (42.6%) and small-scale (33.3%) enterprises. The results also revealed that the aquafeed market in Egypt is highly competitive, and there are clear opportunities to expand both domestic and international aquafeed markets, and export feeds to Africa and the Middle East. However, in the short-term, increased feed production capacity will place financial pressure on existing aquafeed companies, which may render smaller producers unable to compete in the market. Therefore, all companies will have to improve their efficiency and secure their market share; mainly through the investment in other parts of the value chain. International companies have advantages of global sourcing, economies of scale, reputation and research support that will help them through this challenging period. Well-resourced Egyptian companies will also be able to compete and thrive in a future market with fewer, but larger players. Some feed companies already provide credit for operating costs and technical support to their clients. Extending this to include capital investment for modernization of fish farming systems could be possible, where the feed companies act as credit guarantors. The study demonstrates the need of feed companies to improve production efficiency to be able to be competitive in the market.
... The objective and performance data for the internal and external assessment factors of the key aquaculture players in Africa were collected (Tables 1 and 2) as reviewed from available published information on each country: Egypt ( El-Sayed 2007;Nassr-Alla 2008;El-Sayed 2013;Nasr-Allah et al. 2014;El-Sayed et al. 2015;Soliman and Yacout 2016;), Nigeria (Fagbenro and Adebayo 2005;FAO 2007FAO -2020Oyakhilomen and Zibah 2013;Ozigbo et al. 2014;Adewumi 2015), Uganda (FAO 2004FAO, 2011;Jamu et al. 2012;Rutaisire et al. 2017), and South Africa ( Britz and Venter 2016;DAFF 2017;FAO 2010FAO -2020bFAO 2004FAO -2020. Polarity: "+" = benefit criteria; "-" = cost criteria ...
... External assessment score of key aquaculture players in Africa(El-Sayed 2007;Ozigbo et al. 2014;Soliman and Yacout 2016;Fagbenro and Adebayo 2005;Adewumi 2015;Nassr-Alla 2008; ...
Full-text available
Africa’s contribution to world aquaculture production in 2018 is still insignificant (2,196,600 tons; ~ 2.7%) albeit significantly increasing with larger-scale investments in Egypt (1,561,457 tons), Nigeria (291,233 tons), and Uganda (103,737 tons) producing substantial quantities (91%) of the total fish production from the region. The quantitative SWOT technique and the multi-attribute decision-making method (MADM) were used to determine and compare aquaculture performance in production, technology, market, policies, and framework among Egypt, Nigeria, Uganda, and South Africa. Factors such as the adoption of new technologies used in the formulation and production of aquafeed (i.e., extruded feed and sinking feed), adoption of best farm management practices, commercialization of aquaculture, growing demand-supply gap due to high per capita consumption of fish, and government’s prioritization of aquaculture industry development through the creation of enabling environment for private sector participation were key strengths and opportunities identified among the leading players. The quantified SWOT shows Egypt exhibited aquaculture development strengths and opportunities; Nigeria has aquaculture development opportunities but weak in competitive strengths, while Uganda and South Africa both possess low, competitive strengths and being faced with threats. Capitalizing on the available opportunities and critical success factors of the leading aquaculture players in Africa, this analysis highlights strategic actions that could boost the development of aquaculture in South Africa. The quantified SWOT analysis was used to determine the competitive position of the aquaculture sectors of the compared countries and can be used as a basis for aquaculture policies and roadmaps.
... The global demand for fishmeal (FM) and fish oil has increased and their prices continue to soar as well as increasing difficulty in sources these ingredients. Subsequently, FM alternatives are increasing in their inclusion with soybean meal (SBM) being the most dominant source due to their well-balanced amino acid profile and high digestibility (El-Sayed, 2007). Typical inclusions of SBM in the diets of herbivorous and omnivorous fish is 45-52 % (Oliva-Teles et al., 2015;Mamauag, 2016). ...
The effects of raw versus pre-treated carob seed germ meal (CSGM) were investigated on the digestibility, growth performance and feed utilisation in red tilapia. For digestibility, a reference diet was compared with raw CSGM, soaked or autoclaved CSGM. In the growth trial, six experimental diets were formulated: Diet 1 CSGM free; Diets 2 to 5 contained 30 and 40% pre-treated CSGM; Diet 6 contained 40% untreated CGSM. Raw CSGM had significantly lower nutrient digestibility in tilapia compared to treated CSGM. This was reflected in significantly better growth in fish fed Diets 2 – 5 compared to raw CSGM diet. Body lipid significantly reduced while body moisture significantly increased when fish were fed diets containing 40% CSGM. Muscle cholesterol, plasma cholesterol, and plasma triglycerides were significantly higher in fish fed Diet 1 while plasma phosphate was significantly lower in fish fed Diet 6. Pre-treating CSGM reduced tannins, phytic acid, saponins and trypsin inhibitors, which likely contributed to significantly better growth performance. However, this was not sufficient to improve growth to a similar level as fish fed Diet 1. This could be linked to the pretreatments having a limited effect on non-starch polysaccharides of CSGM and ways to reduce these compounds should be explored.
... It is therefore necessary to look for new non-traditional low cost feedstuffs to decrease the overall cost of fish production. The use of alternate feed resources for the development of Aqua feeds has therefore gained significance as the traditional ingredients are either becoming costly or less available ( Naylor et al., 2000;Ali & Salim, 2004;El-Sayed, 2007;Goddard et al., 2008). ...
Full-text available
Expansion of fish farming is strictly related to improvement in nutrition, fish welfare, and husbandry practices. Each of these topics represents a challenge for future development in aquaculture.The study of digestive enzymes in fish has a wide range of potential interest. It is an essential step towards understanding the mechanism of digestion and how the organism adapts to changes in the nutritional environment. Proteases refer to a group of enzymes whose catalytic function is to hydrolyze (breakdown) proteins. They are also called proteolytic enzymes or proteinases. Proteolytic enzymes are very important in digestion as they breakdown the peptide bonds in the protein foods to liberate the amino acids needed by the body. Additionally, proteolytic enzymes have been used for a long time in various forms of therapy. Their use in medicine is notable based on several clinical studies indicating their benefits in oncology, inflammatory conditions, blood theology control, and immune regulation. Protease is able to hydrolyze almost all proteins as long as they are not components of living cells. Normal living cells are protected against lysis by the inhibitor mechanism. The characterization and quantification of protease activities may contribute to better understand the digestive physiology of the fish, improve feeding regimes, and develop formulated feed for the farming of this species. Therefore, study of digestive enzymes such as protease from the fishes is needed. In the present study fingerlings of freshwater fish Labeo rohita were fed on formulated fish feed to evaluate the protease profile for stipulated time interval. Introduction:
Full-text available
The biofloc technology (BFT) was proposed as an alternative to the conventional extensive and semi-extensive aquaculture production systems. In terms of expansion, conventional systems face serious challenges such as competition for land and water and environmental regulations related to discharge of effluents which contain excess organic matter, nitrogenous compounds and other toxic metabolites that might compromise the adjacent culture areas and boost the spread of disease (Browdy et al. 2012). Currently, BFT is used in the cultivation of commercial species such as penaeid shrimp and tilapia (Figure 1), and more recently, as a management tool during early cultivation during nursery phases. In recent times, as the aquaculture industry has faced diverse issues, in terms of diseases and reduced production yields, BFT was considered (and still is) the new “blue revolution”(Stokstad 2010). Such system originated in the 1970s for shrimp at the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER), located in Tahiti, and in partnership with private companies
Full-text available
The rise into global prominence and rapid growth of finfish and crustacean aquaculture has been due, in part, to the availability and on-farm provision of feed inputs within the major producing countries. More than 46 percent of the total global aquaculture production in 2008 was dependent upon the supply of external feed inputs. For the aquaculture sector to maintain its current average growth rate of 8 to 10 percent per year to 2025, the supply of nutrient and feed inputs will have to grow at a similar rate. This had been readily attainable when the industry was young, but it may not be the case anymore as the sector has grown into a major consumer of and competitor for feed resources. This paper reviews the dietary feeding practices employed for the production of the major cultured fed species, the total global production and market availability of the major feed ingredient sources used and the major constraints to feed ingredient usage, and recommends approaches to feed ingredient selection and usage for the major species of cultivated fish and crustaceans. Emphasis is placed on the need for major producing countries to maximize the use of locally available feed-grade ingredient sources, and, in particular, to select and use those nutritionally sound and safe feed ingredient sources whose production and growth can keep pace with the 8 to 10 percent annual average annual growth of the fed finfish and crustacean aquaculture sector.
Full-text available
Tilapia culture is currently practised in 95 countries all over the world and the number is expected to increase. This book discusses in detail the principles and practices of tilapia culture in the world. It covers all the vital issues of farmed tilapia including: the biology, environmental requirements, semi-intensive culture, intensive culture systems, feed and feeding, reproduction and breeding, spawning and larval rearing, stress and diseases, harvesting and marketing and the role of tilapia culture in rural development. It also highlights and presents the experiences of leading countries in tilapia culture.
Full-text available
In an attempt to identify appropriate times for initial application of supplemental feed in polyculture fertilized fish production earthen ponds, a study was conducted for 19 wk to establish the growth performance, yield, survival, and body composition of Nile tilapia, common carp, and silver carp as influenced by four different feeding regimens (treatments). The four treatments were: 1) supplemental feeding beginning at onset of the experiment (T-I) (control treatment); 2) 6-wk delay of feeding after fish stocking (T-II); 3) 13-wk delay of feeding after fish stocking (T-III), and 4) no supplemental feed application (T-IV). Two ponds were assigned to each treatment and each pond was stocked with a similar number and weight of each fish species. A commercial pelleted fish feed (25% protein) was used to feed fish in T-I, T-II, and T-III at 3% of their body weight, twice a day. At the end of the experiment, fish species (except for silver carp) in T-II showed weight gain, growth rates, and yields significantly higher than fish in T-III or T-IV. Also, the total fish production and net profit in T-II were significantly higher than in T-III or T-IV. Fish species in T-II showed weight gain, growth rates, survival rates, and yields similar to those of T-I (control treatment) with no significant differences. The amount of feed consumed by fish in T-II was reduced by approximately 7.3% compared to that consumed by fish at T-I. Moreover, there was increase in th net profit in T-II by 4.8% over that achieved in T-I. Therefore, T-II appears to be the most appropriate among the tested feeding treatments and recommended for use in order to achieve the best growth, production, and net profit.
Full-text available
Dry matter (DMD), protein (PD), ash (AD), fat (FD), gross energy (ED) and phosphorus (PhD) digestibility coefficients were determined for five different iso-N fish diets fed to Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). The control diet contained fishmeal (35Œ corn (29Œ wheat (20Œ wheat bran (10Œ fish oil (3Œ diamol (2€and premix (1Ž Partial replacement of dry matter of fishmeal, corn grain, wheat grain, wheat bran and fish oil by 20nd 40␘f dry matter of duckweed, in a dry and fresh form, was performed. Diets of treatments 1 and 2 included 20nd 40␘f duckweed, respectively, in a dry form. In treatments 3 and 4, tilapia received formulated diets 4 and 5 in addition to 20nd 40␏resh duckweed providing the same amount of dry matter and protein as in control. The specific growth rates (SGRs) of tilapia were 1.51±0.07, 1.38±0.03, 1.31±0.06, 1.44±0.02 and 1.33±0.05, in control and treatments 14. There was no significant difference between SGR for the control diet and the diet with 20␏resh duckweed, while the other treatment groups had significantly lower SGR. All the treatment diets provide good values for feed conversion ratios (FCRs) and protein efficiency ratio (PER). Dry matter of diets ranged from 61.8␒n treatment 4 to 85.2␒n control. All the diets have high PD (88.493.9€and high-energy digestibility (78.190.7Ž Dry matter of duckweed were 66.8, 63.3, 45.8 and 28.3 in treatments 1 to 4 respectively. Protein values were 78.4, 79.9, 77.6 and 75.9, while ED values were 59.8, 60.9, 64.5 and 58.4 in treatments 1 to 4 respectively. Analysis of body composition shows that tilapia fed diets with duckweed contain significantly (P<0.05) higher phosphorus and protein content and significantly (P<0.05) lower lipid content. In contrast, tilapia fed control diet had a significant higher (P<0.05) dry matter content and lower ash content.
  • A K Hamza
Hamza, A.K. 1996. Aquaculture in Egypt. World Aquaculture, 27: 14-19.
Aquaculture feed and fertilizer resource Atlas of Egypt. Regional Office for the Near East
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El-Sayed, A.-F.M. 1999. Aquaculture feed and fertilizer resource Atlas of Egypt. Regional Office for the Near East, Cairo, FAO. 105 pp.
Expert Consultation on Fish Nutrition Research and Feed Technology in Egypt. Abbassa
  • A.-F M El-Sayed
El-Sayed, A.-F.M. 2004. An overview of fish nutrition research in Egypt. Expert Consultation on Fish Nutrition Research and Feed Technology in Egypt. Abbassa, Abou Hammad, Sharkia, Egypt, 2 December 2004, World FishCenter. (Unpublished)
An overview of fish feed industry in Egypt -challenges and opportunities. Expert Consultation on Fish Nutrition Research and Feed Technology in Egypt. Abbassa
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Osman, M.F. & Sadek, S.S. 2004b. An overview of fish feed industry in Egypt -challenges and opportunities. Expert Consultation on Fish Nutrition Research and Feed Technology in Egypt. Abbassa, Abou Hammad, Sharkia, Egypt, 2nd December, 2004, WorldFish Center. (Unpublished)
The statistical year book
CAPMS (Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics). 2006. The statistical year book, 1995-2004. Cairo, Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. 413 pp.