The. U.S. Grains Council (USGC) recently returned from a trip to Egypt to discuss using dried distillers grains (DDGS), a by-product of corn-based ethanol production, as feed for its growing aquaculture industry. Also on the trip was USGC member Mirasco who has a large client base in the Egyptian aquaculture industry.
“Egypt has the most active and the largest aquaculture industry in the region,” said Hesham Hassanein, USGC regional director for the Middle East and Africa. “But this growing sector only has limited knowledge of the technical and economic advantages of using corn co-products in fish feeds.”
“During the site visits, we saw that average aqua production in Egypt was 2 to 4 tons per acre,” Hassanein said. “However there is the potential for these farms to increase output to 8 to 12 tons per acre with improved management. This means there is a great growth potential that could increase demand for coarse grains and co-products.”
The mission wrapped up with a seminar that was attended by 75 executives from the aquaculture sector. “During the seminar, we gave an overview of the advantages of using U.S. DDGS in aqua rations and discussed the success the Council has seen in Vietnam with our catfish feeding trials,” Hassanein said. “While Egyptian aquaculture is mainly focused on the tilapia species, the information from the catfish trial was useful to those attending our program also.”
The group also explored the possibility of launching a similar type of feeding trial in Egypt. “We were also successful in reaching a preliminary agreement with an international aquaculture research institute in Egypt,” Hassanein said. “They have agreed to conduct feed trials using higher inclusion rates of DDGS with support from Mirasco, which will provide the needed DDGS, free of charge, to carry out the trials.”