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Affordable Fish Feed Production Formulation and Pelleting of Low-Cost Feeds

Empowering Aquaculture with Affordable Feeds

Formulation and Pelleting of Low-Cost Feeds" is a critical aquaculture technology that aims to reduce the high cost of fish feeds in Sub-Saharan Africa. Fish farming operations often allocate a significant portion of their budget, around 60% to 70%, for imported or overseas blended feed ingredients. This technology facilitates the local production of affordable, nutritionally balanced fish feeds. By leveraging extrusion and pelleting techniques, it enhances feed stability, nutrient delivery, and ease of handling. This innovation has the potential to significantly boost the profitability and sustainability of fish farming businesses in the region.


This technology is TAAT1 validated.


Scaling readiness: idea maturity 8/9; level of use 8/9

Cost: $$$ 1,200 USD

Production of 1 ton

85,000 USD

Equipment of production


  • High Cost of Fish Feeds: Fish farming in Sub-Saharan Africa faces significant constraints due to the expensive nature of suitable fish feeds.
  • Reliance on Imported Ingredients: A substantial portion of operating expenses for fish farmers is allocated to imported or overseas blended feed ingredients.
  • Inefficient Nutrient Transfer: The use of simple ingredients like unprocessed grains results in poor stability in water, hindering nutrient transfer and increasing pollution.
  • Storage and Transportation Difficulties: Handling and storing feeds made from basic ingredients can be challenging, impacting their transport and storage.
  • Limited Profitability: High costs and inefficiencies in feed production can reduce the profitability of fish farming businesses.


  • Formulation of Affordable Fish Feeds: The technology focuses on formulating and manufacturing affordable fish feeds by combining locally grown crop and animal products and utilizing extrusion and pelleting technologies.
  • Improved Nutrient Transfer and Reduced Pollution: Pelleted fish feeds are more stable in water compared to simple ingredients like unprocessed grains. This enhances nutrient transfer to fish and reduces pollution in aquaculture ponds.
  • Enhanced Storage and Transport: Pellets are easier to store, package, and transport, contributing to cost-effective distribution.
  • Customization for Different Species: The technology allows for the customization of feeds to suit the feeding requirements and growth stages of various farmed fish species, including omnivorous and carnivorous species.
  • Quick Returns on Investment: Pelleting technology offers a relatively modest investment requirement with quick returns, making it an attractive and profitable business venture for feed producers.
  • Optimization of Feed Formulations: The technology enables the selection of feed ingredients based on availability, price, and nutrient quality to create nutritionally balanced feeds while minimizing production and delivery costs. It also helps reduce waste and pollution in aquaculture ponds.

Key points to design your business plan

For Manufacturers:

Manufacturers can leverage the "Formulation and Pelleting of Low-Cost Feeds" technology to produce affordable, nutritionally balanced fish feeds using locally grown crop and animal products. The manufacturing process involves extrusion and pelleting techniques, which improve feed stability, nutrient delivery, and ease of handling. The primary customers for these manufacturers would be agro hub dealers, fish farmers and farming cooperatives in Sub-Saharan Africa. The main costs for manufacturers would be the procurement of raw ingredients and equipment, production costs, and marketing expenses. The total cost of producing and marketing pelleted fish feed is around US $1,200 per ton, which can then be sold for up to US $1,500 per ton. This suggests low profit margins but high sales volumes. As for licensing requirements, it's recommended to contact the solution holder or the organization for detailed information.

For Resellers:

Resellers play a crucial role in the distribution of the technology. They can help reach a wider customer base, including fish farmers, agro-dealers, and extension agents. Resellers can source the manufactured feeds and identify efficient transportation methods and suitable storage facilities. Establishing strong partnerships with manufacturers and transportation providers is crucial for resellers. The main costs for resellers would be the purchase of feeds from manufacturers, storage and transportation costs, and marketing expenses.

For Users (Fish Farmers):

Users, primarily fish farmers, can benefit significantly from this technology. It enables them to access affordable, nutritionally balanced fish feeds, which can improve fish growth and farm profitability. The technology also reduces pollution in aquaculture ponds by improving nutrient transfer and feed stability. The main costs for users would be the purchase of fish feeds and operational costs associated with fish farming. Users can also benefit from training and support provided by manufacturers and resellers. The utilization of this technology increases the chances of producing higher quality crops meeting standards, with little to no aflatoxin, all at an affordable cost. As key partners, users need sellers of this technology. The cost structure, one Kg price of this technology, is set at $1.2-2 USD. The recommended dose is 10 kg per hectare. Users need to estimate the profit realized with the use of the product.


Positive or neutral impact

Adults 18 and over
Positive high
The poor
Positive high
Under 18
Positive medium
Positive low

Positive or neutral impact

Climate adaptability
It adapts really well
Adaptability for farmers
It helps a lot
It helps them grow and thrive
Carbon footprint
It doesn't reduce emissions at all
It makes a little difference
Soil quality
It doesn't harm the soil's health and fertility
Water usage
It uses the same amount of water

Countries with a green colour
Tested & adopted
Countries with a bright green colour
Countries with a yellow colour
Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burundi Burkina Faso Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Côte d’Ivoire Eritrea Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Cameroon Kenya Libya Liberia Madagascar Mali Malawi Morocco Mauritania Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Republic of the Congo Rwanda Zambia Senegal Sierra Leone Zimbabwe Somalia South Sudan Sudan South Africa Eswatini Tanzania Togo Tunisia Chad Uganda Western Sahara Central African Republic Lesotho
Countries where the technology has been tested and adopted
Country Tested Adopted
Benin Tested Adopted
Botswana Tested Adopted
Cameroon Tested Adopted
Côte d’Ivoire Tested Adopted
Democratic Republic of the Congo Tested Adopted
Djibouti Tested Adopted
Equatorial Guinea Tested Adopted
Ethiopia Tested Adopted
Kenya Tested Adopted
Liberia Tested Adopted
Madagascar Tested Adopted
Malawi Tested Adopted
Mozambique Tested Adopted
Nigeria Tested Adopted
Republic of the Congo Not tested Adopted
Rwanda Tested Adopted
Senegal Tested Adopted
Sierra Leone Tested Adopted
South Sudan Tested Adopted
Sudan Not tested Adopted
Tanzania Tested Adopted
Uganda Tested Adopted
Zambia Tested Adopted
Zimbabwe Tested Adopted

This technology can be used in the colored agro-ecological zones. Any zones shown in white are not suitable for this technology.

Agro-ecological zones where this technology can be used
AEZ Subtropic - warm Subtropic - cool Tropic - warm Tropic - cool

Source: HarvestChoice/IFPRI 2009

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are applicable to this technology.

Sustainable Development Goal 2: zero hunger
Goal 2: zero hunger

  1. Source Quality Ingredients: Ensure that locally sourced feed ingredients are of high quality and competitively priced, taking into account toxin levels and substances affecting palatability and water stability in feed formulation.

  2. Grinding Raw Materials: Use a hammer mill to grind the raw materials into a fine powder. Smaller particle sizes are preferable as they enhance digestibility, cohesiveness, and water stability. Sun or oven dry the materials before grinding, and ensure uniform particle size for different ingredients.

  3. Mixing Ingredients: Homogenize the ingredients by mixing them manually to create a mash, or for large-scale feed production, use a mechanical mixer.

  4. Adding Binders (if needed): If the cereals in the formula do not provide adequate binding, consider adding cassava starch or a similar product as a binder.

  5. Moistening Raw Materials: Just before extrusion, moisten the raw materials to ensure they adhere together.

  6. Wet Extrusion: Use wet-type steam pelletizers for extrusion, which helps gelatinize starch, further improving the nutritional value of the feed.

  7. Pellet Size: Ensure that the diameter of the pellets is at least 4 millimeters, suitable for most adult fish.

Last updated on 22 May 2024