Food Or Feed? Optimising The Use of An Underutilised Nutrient Source In Lake Victoria, Kenya


GCRF AgriFood Africa Innovation Awards Round 3





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About the project

UK-registered Partner: University of Stirling – Alexandra Pounds
Africa-registered Partner: Victory Farms Ltd – Steve Moran

This project considered the best nutritional use of underutilised ‘ochonga’, small shrimps that are a by-product of Lake Victoria’s freshwater fishery. Ochonga was tested as an aquafeed ingredient and as a potential human nutrition supplement. Because aquaculture generally has been criticised for diverting food resources from nutritionally-vulnerable communities, aquaculture companies should investigate potential aquafeed ingredients as direct human food before exploiting it.

Despite being a food source in other African communities, ochonga are currently used as a cheap chicken feed in Kenya – this project found that they currently rejected as a food source. Adults expressed disgust and were strongly opposed to its consumption; however, they were tentatively willing to feed it to their infants as a supplement in porridge.

This project also found that replacing up to 20% of pelleted feed with ochonga resulted in no significant changes to growth rates or performance of broodstock or fry. Fish diets that replaced up to 20% of pellets by dry weight with ochonga were cheaper than pelleted diets only (though not significantly).

Thus, ochonga as an aquafeed ingredient has strong economic drivers for the tilapia culture industry in Kenya, particularly considering the rapid growth of intensive aquaculture in Lake Victoria and current reliance on imported and expensive aquafeed ingredients. Using ochonga as an aquafeed supplement could potentially reduce the cost of feed for aquaculture producers in the Kenya part of Lake Victoria.


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