By George Munene
Government approval for the importation of genetically modified (GM) soymeal could reduce the cost of fish feed by up to 20 per cent.
Speaking during an African aquaculture stakeholder meeting held by KTN Global Alliance Africa, Tunga Nutrition General Manager Harrison Juma highlighted that approval of the importation of GM soybean would help reduce the cost of fish feeds by between 15-20 per cent.
Soybean meal makes up to 55 per cent of fish feed helping support growth and healthy development.
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Currently, the government demands that only non-GMO soya that is up to 99.9 percent pure can be used. This is costly and near impossible for feed companies to acquire.
“We would also encourage our farmers to look into increased soybean production as we are often forced to source for the legume from other African countries,” Juma added.
Tunga Nutrition is a subsidiary of Unga Group and Nutreco charged with the production of fish feed in the country.
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Feeds account for 60-75 per cent of the total cost of fish production in most African countries.
Kenya is estimated to have produced 150,000 metric tons of fish in 2020 with freshwater fish accounting for 124,000 metric tons. Farmed fish made up 12.8 per cent of fish produced in 2019, a 20 per cent jump from the previous year. Tilapia and catfish are almost exclusively the only farmed fish in Kenya.