During the mission to conduct the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) / U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) workshops on the importance of the 2010 Bangladesh Feed Act and its rules for the aquaculture industry in Bangladesh, USSEC consultants Masum Reja and R. Umakanth and USSEC Deputy Regional Lead – Asia Subcontinent (ASC) Vijay Anand performed field visits to meet aqua customers to assess the level of technology and feed quality being used by the industry. A second objective was to share with and educate customers on the latest technologies and developments in aquaculture. Mark Newman, USSEC Feedmill and Aquafeed Nutrition Consultant, also took part in this trip and was a valuable resource in educating customers.
The team visited Agro 3, a fish hatchery and aqua farm, managed by A.B.M Shamshul Alam, who is a progressive entrepreneur and influencer in the region of Mymensing. His main work is to promote GIFT (genetically improved and farmed tilapia) tilapia, which is an excellent feed-consuming species that performs well on soy-maximized diets. Dr. Newman explained to him that it is important to follow broodstock nutrition in order to produce healthy and fast growing fish spawn and juveniles. The USSEC team advised him on formulation options. Mr. Umakanth explained the Intensive Pond Aquaculture Technology (IPA) system, which Mr. Alam found impressive because he has implemented a re-circulatory system for his hatchery, which has a few similarities on operations. As a hatchery operator, he is engaged in breeding a variety of fish that are of high value and are candidate species for consuming soy-based fish feeds.
At the workshop, about 37 participants from the aquafeed production sector were engaged in discussions about the Feed Act and obtained knowledge on the use of soybean meal as a dependable protein source for fish feeds. Dr. Newman also dealt with aspects that pointed to preferences for U.S soybean meal, its differentiation, and how it can replace expensive fishmeal in aqua diets.
Bangladesh is the fifth largest aquaculture-producing nation in the world and is also a significant importer of U.S soybeans, which it crushes in-country. Improving the aquaculture industry through better technologies, soy-based feeds, and connecting the industry to U.S Soy ensures yet another a stable soy use avenue in ASC, in addition to the poultry industry.