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Efficient fish feeds to enable emergence of catfish breeding in Benin (ProfishBenin)

ARF3.1b Profish Benin
Image: via Flickr (by: Joachim S. Mueller)
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Duration: 05 December 2016 to 05 December 2019

Project information

Aim: This project “Developing and promoting efficient fish feeds to enable emergence of catfish breeding in Benin (ProfishBenin)” aims at developing and promoting affordable, nutritive, floating, and easy to use fish feeds based on locally available feed ingredients in Benin. This is an applied research to be carried out in an interdisciplinary setting that addresses the: (i) characterization of local feed ingredients, (ii) formulation and functionalization of nutritionally dense-fish feeds, (iii) assessment of the socio-economic factors influencing the success of the products and (iv) technology transfer to stakeholders. Capacity building is also ascertained in 6 research projects for MSc students.

Objectives: The main objective of the project is to develop and promote an affordable, nutritive, floating, and easy to use fish feeds based on locally available feed ingredients in Benin. More specifically, the project will:

  • Screen the local feed ingredients available in Benin for their nutrient composition and cost;
  • Formulate convenient fish feeds using locally available feed ingredients, using linear algebra optimization software;
  • Functionalize the feed formulas for adequate floatability;
  • Evaluate the bioefficacy of the formulated fish feeds;
  • Establish farmers perception and acceptance of the formulated and tested fish feeds;
  • Determine the socio-economic factors that influence the success of new feed products;
  • Build up the capacity and skills of local fish farmers and extension workers in producing the developed feeds;
  • Disseminate the project outputs.

Method: The research project is divided in 7 Work Packages (WP).

  • WP 1: Is devoted to the coordination.
  • WP 2: Screening the local feed ingredients of Benin for their nutritional quality and cost.
  • WP3: Formulation of convenient fish feeds.
  • WP4: Functionalization of fish formulas for adequate floatability.
  • WP5: Bioefficacy of the formulated fish feeds.
  • WP6: Users’ perception and acceptability and marketing strategy of the developed fish feeds in the socio-economic context.
  • WP6: Strengthening the capacity and skills of stakeholders in producing the developed feeds and dissemination activities.

Country: Benin.

Dutch policy goals: Eradicating existing hunger and malnutrition (‘people’); Promoting inclusive and sustainable growth in the agricultural sector (‘profit’).

Progress reports

Year 1: This project, which started on January 15, 2017, aims to develop and promote affordable, nutritive, floating, and easy to use fish feeds from local feed ingredients in Benin. As a start, 29 samples of feed ingredients were collected and characterized for their nutritional value and cost (WP2). Next, 13 feed formulas were developed using local feed ingredients (WP3). Various sources of starch were tested to confer adequate floatability to the granules and cassava flour exhibited the most promising characteristics (WP4). So far, we formulated fish feeds with sufficient floatability and nutritional composition, close to a commercial imported fish feed. Bio-efficacy studies are planned for year 2.Management and coordination mainly focussed on preparation and organization of the launching workshop in Cotonou, 2 follow-up meetings and 4 steering committee meetings; communication between partners through Skype meetings, email exchanges and visits (WP1). 3 master students were trained and one scientific paper has been drafted.

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Rob Nout and Anita Linnemann of Wageningen Food Quality and Design are visiting Benin in the context of the ARF project ProFish. They were given a demonstration about the progress in the fish feed formulation. »