Challenges of fish farming in Egypt – The activity of fish farming in Egypt in its multiplicity systems is the way and the greatest hope in providing cheap and healthy protein for human nutrition, signally after the spread of aphthous fever in cows, and Bird Flu | Avian Influenza (Flu) in poultry recently.
The activity of fish farming in Egypt began in the late seventies by specialists in aquaculture by establishing a group of extension farms in many areas of Egypt, and the basic idea in its establishment is the exploitation of wasteland, and land unfit for agriculture, and this activity depends on the use of agricultural drainage water for fish farming, and on the use of cheap feed materials to produce animal protein of high nutritional value, and this activity flourished and achieved a great revival in the new millennium, and became one of the largest agricultural investment activities in Egypt, one of its most important results was the stability of fish prices despite the doubling of the prices of meat and poultry several times during that past period with the stability of the price of tilapia fish, for example, but there are some obstacles that began to appear in the recent period can weaken the process of this activity, and limit its productivity significantly, which requires intervention in a scientific and thoughtful manner so that we can avoid increasing the price of fish in the coming years, and the burden of this matter falls on me Workers in the fish farming sector by identifying the obstacles, and providing quick solutions in order to promote fish resources, and reach the point of self-sufficiency, and even export, especially if we know that the availability of natural resources in Egypt qualify it to be a leading country in this field at the global level.
First: The problem of increasing the price of farms
There are a set of proposals to overcome this problem:
- The trend towards intensive farming, in which the productivity of the unit area (acre) can be raised vertically, so that it achieves optimal utilization to achieve the highest yield.
- The orientation towards the use of desert land, especially the Wadi al-Natroun area, and the dependence in fish farming on groundwater that is pumped into cement basins, or sand lined with a plastic layer, and fish are grown in it, then the drainage of this water is used in plant agriculture, and the water used is pure groundwater free of contaminants; thus the fish is suitable for export.
- Semi-intensive cage fish farming; where reliance is placed on the use of floating cages whether in waterways, lakes, or the sea without the need to compete with other agricultural activities on land.
Second: The problem of random design of ponds
Ponds are often characterized by random design, as they are not subject to any regular engineering style, due to the lack of engineering institutions specialized in the establishment and design of fish farms.
This problem is due to the fact that most fish farms are temporary farms, and the aim of their establishment was to wash the land of salts in preparation for turning it into agricultural land, and with the development of things and considering that the activity of fish farming is one of the main tributaries of fish production in Egypt and it was necessary to pay attention to the irrigation and drainage system in these basins, and their design needs to be re-studied so that the purpose of their establishment can be achieved, It is worth mentioning that the introduction of the specialization of fish farm design should be within the main disciplines in the departments of agricultural engineering, or fish production in the faculties of agriculture, in order to reduce this randomness, especially in newly established farms; and can also benefit from the General Authority for the Development of Fish Resources due to the presence of specialists in this field.
Third: The problem of high feed prices
Egypt covers large areas of water bodies that are suitable for fish farming, and despite the importance of fish farming in providing food, and raising the per capita consumption rates of animal protein; however, this faces some obstacles, the most important of which is the lack of available feed resources and the high prices during the past short period, which led to some breeders stop raising tilapia fish on farms, and others have turned to raising fish that depend on their food on natural food such as silver carp fish, And the big-headed carp, and since fish production in fish farms increases with the increase of industrial feeds that increase the growth rates of fish in addition to the fact that the cost of industrial feeding alone amounts to more than 65% of the total current costs in fish farms; the best way to reduce the cost of fish production lies in replacing the components of traditional, high-priced feeds with cheap materials that are easy to obtain such as non-traditional feed materials, which can be used in fish feeding, Also, the exploitation of these substances will lead to the spread of fish farms, and the re-operation of tilapia fish farms.
Challenges of fish farming in Egypt