The grant, which comprised fish seeds and feeds, is meant as an incentive for fish farmers to sustain their business amid the pandemic, director general of aquaculture at the ministry (DJPB KKP), Tb Haeru Rahayu, said.
He emphasized that the use of good-grade feed would maintain the quality of cultivated fish and help retain the market's trust in domestic fishery products, considering that consumers’ expectations would affect the business.
“We will optimize the performance of the local technical implementation units (UPT) to meet the need for excellent and economical fish feeds,” Rahayu said.
The director general revealed that the feed distributed among fish farmers was produced by the Freshwater Cultivation Fisheries Center (UPT BPBAT) Tatelu.
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BPBAT Tatelu chief Fernando J. Simanjuntak said the center will maintain the quality of the manufactured feed by formulating the right protein level needed for optimizing the growth of cultivated fish.
Meanwhile, he affirmed that BPBAT Tatelu would ensure that aid is received by the groups qualified for the program.
“Besides increasing the fishery production in Nusa Tenggara, we hope this grant will reduce the regional stunting rate by providing abundant animal protein intakes for the children in these provinces” Simanjuntak explained.
According to Usman, a researcher at Maros Brackish Water Aquaculture Research and Fishery Extension Center, farmers spend 40-80 percent of their allowance on fish feed, depending on the commodity and technology.
He stated that a crucial step to tackle the high cost of feed is to utilize local resources to make the feeds independently.
The government has established a strategic plan to increase the production of fish feed from 18.44 tons in 2020 to 22.65 tons in 2024.
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