The Bangladesh Feed Act, approved in 2010, registers and licenses feed producers as well as sets standards for labeling, packaging macronutrients content, feed inspection, and more. A seminar held on May 6 was the culmination of a year of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded World Initiative for Soy in Human Heath (WISHH) activity to educate feed millers on the Feed Act and how they can be compliant. Through this instruction, the feed millers will learn to rely more on good quality raw material and produce better quality aquafeed, thereby strengthening their preferences for U.S Soy as the protein source in aquafeeds. The event also allowed feed millers to network with aquaculture producers.
“USDA's activities in Bangladesh boost the quality of the country’s feed and benefits the aquaculture industry that is so important to the nation,” stated Lee Gross, USDA International Program Specialist. “Fish is the second most important agricultural crop in Bangladesh and is the primary source of animal protein for the Bangladeshi population. U.S. Soy has an important role in producing high quality feeds, which in turn produce this fish protein for people.”
Fish feed production and use in Bangladesh aquaculture has increased dramatically, with an estimated 1 million metric tons (MMT) of commercially formulated pelleted feed produced, according to a World Fish and Iowa State report.
USSEC Acting Regional Lead – Asia Subcontinent (ASC) Pam Helmsing, USSEC Deputy Regional Lead – ASC Vijay Anand, USSEC aquaculture consultant – ASC Umakanth, and USSEC consultant – Bangladesh Masum Reja participated in the workshop, providing their inputs. The seminar also featured experts such as USSEC Feedmill and Nutrition consultant Mark Newman, who emphasized the use of U.S. soybean meal in aqua feeds in contrast to depending on fish meal, which is limited by its price and sustained supply. The former Director General of the Bangladeshi Fisheries Department, Rafiqul Islam, provided an update on the Feed Act, and all experts discussed responses.