Jakarta (ANTARA) - Marine and Fisheries Affairs Minister Susi Pudjiastuti highlighted that the dependency on big corporations for fish feed production was one critical factor hindering development of the national aquaculture industry.

"The reason behind aquaculture being difficult to develop is owing to the dependence on big corporations for fish feed production," Pudjiastuti remarked here on Thursday.

The ministry's Director General of Aquaculture Slamet Soebjakto had earlier confirmed that the medium-scale fish feed factory built in Pangandaran, West Java, is ready to commence operations in 2019.

The plant is expected to meet the demand of fish feed for farmers in the eastern Priangan area, such as Garut, Ciamis, Tasikmalaya, Pangandaran, and Cilacap.

The feed plant, built over an area of seven thousand square meters, is designed to produce floating feed, with an optimum production capacity of 1-1.2 tons per hour, or some 3,450 tons annually.

The ministry will appoint a technical unit with mastery in the sector, such as the aquaculture technical unit in Lampung, Sukabumi, and Jepara.

Soebjakto remarked that the ministry had also readied a mechanism to set the market price for the product to ensure that it is affordable for farmers.

"Of course, we will ensure that the feed price is affordable, and its quality is maintained. The existence of the medium-scale feed factory is expected to meet the demand of fish farmers and cut production cost by at least 30 percent," Soebjakto added.

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Translator: M Razi, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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