NEWS AND EVENTS
December 10, 2014
Reaping Daily Rewards in Aquaculture
The Uzbek agriculture is moving toward diversification. Some two decades ago, huge fields of ‘white’ gold were a natural thing to see, while today they have been replaced by cereals, fruits and vegetable crops, as well as innovative trends for Uzbekistan like fishing, beekeeping and poultry farms. Moreover, domestic farmers do not hesitate to take risks and start a business in previously unknown fields. Fish farming is one such area.
Nearly 50% of global human grade fish accounts for aquaculture, which currently ranks among the fastest growing food industries. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, fish farming has grown from zero since its inception in 1950 to 66.5 million tons in 2012.
This is huge and time-consuming work, where a single miscalculation, for example, a drop in water temperature even by one degree can lead to the death of the fry. Therefore, it is important to support farmers in their initiatives through preferential loans and professional advice. Uzbekistan has been pursuing this very policy. There are numerous ongoing projects on enhancing the industry’s efficiency with a focus on the streamlining of the system of its organization and support of fish farms, strengthening their forage reserves, allocation of lands and ensuring water supply.
In the first ten months of the current year the country has procured 32,800 tons of fish. Fish farms were supported with 23,000 tons of mixed fodder. Around 1.6 thousand hectares of land and new artificial ponds were allocated to about 420 farms. In addition, about 130 small reservoirs have been engaged in fish production.
“Today, we are applying interesting know-how to reduce the cost of fish,” says Zoir Kimsanov, an expert of Fishery Economy Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan. “In artificial reservoirs we breed species of the fish feeding not on mixed fodder but on algae. The traditional fodder capacity is concurrently getting strengthened. There are specialized enterprises procuring fish forage. For example, the Yildiz Company procures 30-40 tons of feed monthly and supplies it to fish farms. We are currently doing research on the production of high-quality protein out of silkworm larvae, an additive in fish fodder.”
Previously, fish farms needed 4-4.5 kg of feed for gaining one kilogram of weight. Now, 1-1.2 kg will be enough owing to the increased caloric value,” explained Ilyos Qosimov, the Chairman of the company. “We are working on that jointly with several academic institutions, including the Institute of the Gene Pool of Flora and Fauna, Research and Production Enterprise Physics-Sun, the Research Institute of Animal Husbandry, Tashkent State Agrarian University, and others.”
Domestic farmers are not limited to fish farming. There is an ongoing project on crayfish breeding. That would allow for providing the domestic market with delicacies and useful products, as well as also exporting them.
(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)