WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S — The U.S. Grains Council (USGC) conducted a program in Egypt the second week of May to promote distiller’s dried grain with solubles (DDGS) in aquaculture rations. This program was done in conjunction with Mirasco, a USGC member company that has a large client base within 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.”

To assess this industry’s potential to utilize U.S. DDGS in their feed formulations, the mission included site visits to large and growing fish farms.

“During the site visits, we saw that average aqua production in Egypt was 2 to 4 tonnes per acre,” Hassanein said. “However, there is the potential for these farms to increase output to 8 to 12 tonnes 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.”

In addition, the group 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."

USGC will continue its ongoing promotion of U.S. DDGS to the Egyptian aquaculture sector through one-on-one meetings, presentations and seminars.