The commercial aquaculture feed industry in Egypt is growing at a rapid rate. As a result, the number of fish feed mills has increased from just 5 mills producing about 20,000 t per year in 1999, to over 60 mills with a current production estimate of 800,000–1,000,000 t/year.
This study assesses the status of the fish feed sector in Egypt, with an emphasis on: mapping and understanding fish feed value chains, describing the main actors and stakeholders within the chain, assessing value chain performance, identifying major strengths and weakness of the sector, and suggesting appropriate actions, management and development strategies.
The results shows that the value-chain of the fish feed sector in Egypt is relatively
simple with four main stakeholder groups/actors: feed ingredients/additives and raw
material suppliers; feed producers; feed marketers and traders; and fish farmers. Some of the main points from the study include:
- The main constraint facing the fish feed industry and fish farmers is rapidly increasing prices.
- An estimated 90% of Egyptian fish feeds are produced by 50 private sector fish feed mills, producing both conventionally pelleted feeds (80–85%) and extruded feeds (15–20%), most of which (85%) are formulated to contain 25% crude protein (CP). The public sector owns 9 mills, producing an estimated 10% of total commercial fish feed production.
- The total full-time number of jobs in fish feed manufacturing is estimated at about 4000–5000 jobs. Males represent 90% of the employees in the public sector and 96.6% in the private sector.
- An estimated 80% of fish feeds produced by public sector feed mills is sold through traders or retailers, compared to only 15–20% of fish feeds from private sector mills. Fish feed traders and retailers add around 3–6% to the price of fish feeds.
- Fish farmers stated that feed costs represent around 80% (70–95%) of the total operating costs of their farms.
- Farmers said they lack basic knowledge about feed and feed management as they do not receive training or quality control inspections.
The following recommendations for better management and development of the sector are proposed:
- reduce dependency on expensive feed ingredients
- improve capacity for production of high quality feeds
- increase employment opportunities in the aquaculture feed sector
- improve access to credit
- improve access to training
- strengthen the legal and policy environment for feed production, quality control, handling, storage and trading.