There will be a Food For Thought seminar on 26 February 2019 (Tuesday), from 01:15 PM to 02:00 PM (GMT +8 hours) at the Auditorium, WorldFish HQ. The presentation will be given by Dr. Marc Verdegem on ‘Do we feed ponds wisely?’. The session will also be streamed live via Skype for Business for audiences participating remotely at the following hyperlink: https://bit.ly/2BQfIrk
Aquaculture feeds are mainly developed in aquaria, tank or cage studies. The results are excellent complete diets that fulfil the animal’s nutritional requirements. About 20-40 % of the nutrients in the diet are retained by the fish, however 40-80% enter the pond as waste (= negative) or fertilizer (= positive). Unfortunately, when using formulated feed, the dietary nutrients not retained in new fish biomass do not act as good fertilizers. In consequence, nutrients discharged or accumulation causes pollution and damage to the pond’s ecosystem.
‘Nutritious pond feeds’ are formulated by considering not only the needs of cultured species, but also the needs of the pond’s ecosystem. The role of the pond is to sanitise waste while providing natural foods for fish. When formulating nutritious pond feeds, protein-rich ingredients are partially replaced by carbohydrate-rich plant ingredients, making them cheaper than standard commercial feeds while maintaining production. As a result, poor or vulnerable households engaged in pond aquaculture will benefit from nutritious pond feeds by reducing feed costs, while maintaining a robust and healthy pond production environment and minimizing pollution.
The presentation will review some of the services provided by a well-functioning pond ecosystem, explain the concept of nutritious pond feeds and explore how to (re-)integrate pond farming in a circular food economy.
Dr. Marc Verdegem, works in the Aquaculture and Fisheries Division of the Department of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University and Research (WUR). Starting February 2019, Dr. Verdegem will link with WorldFish by dedicating 40% of his time for a period of 3-years to WorldFish, through the Dutch Senior Expert Programme (SEP), which links Dutch experts to CGIAR institutes. Activities executed through SEP by Dr. Verdegem complement WU engagements in Cluster 2 of SA Flagship of the Fish-CRP.
The SEP program will focus on the development of ‘nutritious pond feeds’ that enhance the contribution of natural food to fish production in ponds. Basic research will be executed preferentially by Ph.D. students or research staff. Research outcomes will be shared with stakeholders through innovation platforms and influence innovation cycles, the latter feeding into new applications and research. Nutritious feed concepts will be locally validated in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Egypt and Zambia, with the goal to develop the nutritious pond feed concept into a technology package applicable by small-scale farmers. Cooperation with other CRP programmes will be explored.
Please come along to what promises to be a stimulating and interesting talk. Hope to see you there!