Commercialisation of Alternative Livestock Feeds Could Save Fish Stocks in Lake Victoria
Increasing livestock production in East Africa requires increased use of fish meal as a source of protein, some of which comes from the Silver Cyprinid (Rastrineobola argentea) in Lake Victoria, which could result in its over-exploitation and affect the survival of other organisms in the lake. The crude protein content of cockroaches (38-76% CP depending on the age) and of other insects is similar to that of fish meal (61.24% CP) and could be a substitute for it, if these insects can be domesticated and used as animal feeds. Non-conventional feeds such as cockroaches, houseflies, termites, earthworms and carabid beetles are used on a small scale by farmers in Uganda who would be willing to use them more if they could be produced on a large scale. There is therefore a need to promote large scale insect breeding so that these alternative protein sources can be integrated into farming systems.
Keywords: Alternative protein sources, Fishmeal, Insects, Poultry