Local factories producing fish feed are faced with dire challenges to continue productions because of scarce raw materials and cheap imports, and by 2016 they may stop production completely, Myanmar Fish and Prawn Food Manufacturers Association said.
“Now the factories manufacturing food have started to cease operations or convert to other activities. The firms that have their own fish ponds and food factories might continue to run their businesses but others are in bad condition,” Dr Thet Hmu, chairman of the association, said.
Fish food is often made of by-products from vegetable oil production such as groundnut oil and sesame oil. China has been buying less sesame this year, and this has led to fewer byproducts being available to make food. Additionally, groundnut oil is often diluted with palm oil or used cooking oil in marketplaces.
Now, feed is being imported from India, Argentina and Brazil at prices around two-thirds that of local feed, according to the association.
“As raw materials have become scarce, the factories are getting closed. Attempts at replacing the fish feed have failed due to low protein count. Among 12 factories, only three can continue operations,” Dr Thet Hmu added.
Public factories such as Danyingone, Daikoo, Hlawga and Mandalay have stopped operations a long time ago, the association said.
“It’s not possible for livestock firms to continue without food. So, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries should provide support [to us] now,” Dr Thet Hmu said.