Communicating SUA Successes in Conducting Short Course on Fish Farming

FishSokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) has successfully conducted a short course on fish farming to agricultural entrepreneurs. The training, which involved 33 self-sponsored participants including six females, was conducted from 6th to 9th May 2019 at SUA. Twelve (12) participants came from Morogoro; Nine (9) participants from Dar es Salaam and three (3) participants from Mwanza. Three regions of Dodoma, Manyara and Arusha each had two participants whereas one participant each came from Iringa, Pwani and Singida. The training constituted theory, which was delivered at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) Conference Hall and practical, which was conducted at Magadu Farm. Read more 

Tanzania Society of Animal Production (TSAP): Conference Announcement and Call for Papers

tsapThe 42nd Annual Scientific Conference for the Tanzania Society of Animal Production (TSAP) will be held in DODOMA, TANZANIA at ST. GASPAR HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTRE, from Wednesday 23rd to Friday 25th October, 2019. It will be an excellent opportunity to bring together outstanding scientists, policy makers, professionals and students from interdisciplinary fields of Animal Science, Veterinary, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Economics and other stakeholders with interest in the livestock and fisheries industries to share the latest developments, meet old friends and form new partnerships. Read more

3rd Conference of the Rangeland Society of Tanzania


Rangeland The Rangeland Society of Tanzania (RST) cordially invites abstracts for the 3rd Scientific Conference to be held in Morogoro, Tanzania from 12 to 13 March, 2018. Final date of receiving abstracts is 31st December 2017, Authors with ACCEPTED ABSTRACTS will be notified by 15th January 2018 and will be requested to submit FULL PAPERS up to February 2018. Read more

Call for expression of interest to undertake a study on the "Impact of BSU Interventions on Teaching and Learning at Sokoine University of Agriculture"

Building Stronger Universities (BSU) is a DANIDA-funded project with the aim of strengthening Building Stronger Universities (BSU) is a DANIDA-funded project with the aim of strengthening the capacity of selected universities in the south to develop and implement education and research programmes and effectively disseminate the research results.

The project includes the strengthening of capacity in the partner institutions to effectively deliver on research, trainingand outreach. Thus, amongst other initiatives, BSU has been supporting SUA in improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning through capacity building of staff in new innovative pedagogical methods.

The capacity building has been through a series of training programmes to SUA staff delivered by Danish experts especially aimed at introducing more innovative teaching and learning approaches and to reduce the reliance on the traditional lecture method that has dominated teaching at SUA so far and which has been proven to be sub-optimalin producing graduates that are well prepared for the world of work.

The training programmes were implemented between 2011 and 2017, during the first and second phases of BSU. The third phase of BSU running from 2017 to 2021 is aimed mainly at institutionalizing and out-scaling the initiatives that were earlier implemented in the project mode. Read more

Upcoming event: The 42nd Annual Scientific Conference for the Tanzania Society of Animal Production (TSAP)

The 42nd Annual Scientific Conference for the Tanzania Society of Animal Production (TSAP) will be held in DODOMA, TANZANIA at ST. GASPAR HOTEL AND CONFERENCE CENTRE, from Wednesday 23rd to Friday 25th October, 2019. It will be an excellent opportunity to bring together outstanding scientists, policy makers, professionals and students from interdisciplinary fields of Animal Science, Veterinary, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Economics and other stakeholders with interest in the livestock and fisheries industries to share the latest developments, meet old friends and form new partnerships. Researchers, extension experts, managers and all players in the livestock and fisheries sub-sectors are invited to share experiences and explore the role of livestock and fish production in the process of industrialization in Tanzania amid pressures of the changing environment. For more information click here

Read Prof. Sebastian Chenyambuga Inaugural Lecture paper

Executive summary

Fish is used in many countries as a primary source of protein. Fish is estimated to account for 17% of the global intake of animal protein and 6.5% of all protein consumed. Fish is also a major source of livelihoods and income, particularly in developing countries. More than 158 million people in the world are estimated to depend directly on fish-related activities. Since the number of fish stocks in natural water bodies has greatly declined, more emphasis on fish production has been directed to aquaculture. Aquaculture has the potential of enhancing food security directly through producing fish for household consumption, improving the supply, and reducing the price of fish in the market. Aquaculture also contributes to farm diversification and creation of new employment opportunities and income streams. Thus, aquaculture is currently promoted as a mechanism for rural development with a focus on poverty alleviation in developing countries.

In Tanzania, aquaculture is an emerging industry, which dominated by pond culture of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). The Nile tilapia is a good fish for resource poor farmers because it is easy to raise, it grows fast, and it is tasty, it can eat many types of foods, it is highly tolerant to diseases, it is able to reproduce easily under captivity and can tolerate poor water quality conditions. The demand for tilapia for both domestic consumption and export is  high  and  increasing,  but  the production from natural water bodies has shown a declining pattern due to overfishing. Thus, there is a need of improving fish production from aquaculture to complement the declining capture of fisheries. Early sexual maturity and prolificacy are the problems, which are associated with pond culture of tilapia, leading to uncontrolled reproduction and overcrowding which, in turn, results in large populations of small-sized fish that are of low value. Poor nutrition is another problem facing pond culture of Nile tilapia. Protein concentrate feeds contribute a major cost component of fish feeds. Because of high cost of conventional protein concentrates, fish farmers use locally available feeds (rice and maize brans, kitchen leftovers, and garden remains) to feed the cultured fish. These are of low quality and fish reared on these feeds are unable to meet their maintenance and production requirements, especially for protein. This practice prolongs the time of reaching the market weight and consequently leading to the production of poor quality fish and low profitability of fish farming. Therefore, there is a need of identifying appropriate alternative cheap sources of protein.

To address the above problems a number of studies were done between 2009 and 2018 as described below. The first study was carried out to compare the growth performance and survival of Nile tilapia (O. niloticus), Wami tilapia (O. urolepis) and Ruvuma tilapia (O. ruvumae) under earthen pond and hapa-in-pond culture conditions in order to identify the species that can complement O. niloticus in aquaculture. Two growth experiments were conducted for 90 days. In the first experiment, the fish were raised in earthen ponds while in the second experiment they were grown in hapas installed in earthen ponds. On average, O. niloticus had higher (p ≤ 0.0001) overall mean final body weight (47.17 ± 1.95 g), weight gain (42.75 ± 2.04 g), growth rate (0.48 ± 0.02 g/d) and survival rate (92.82 ± 0.01%) than both O. urolepis and O. ruvumae. On the other hand, O. urolepis had higher overall mean final body weight (33.79 ± 2.24 g), weight gain (28.54 ± 2.34 g) and growth rate than O. ruvumae.

To address the problem of over-reproduction of pond cultured Nile tilapia and enable the production of large market size tilapia, two methods for controlling unwanted reproduction were evaluated; polyculture of tilapia with predatory fish (African catfish) and the culture of all-male population. A growth trial was conducted for 120 days in earthen ponds and tilapia were subjected to three treatments, that is, stocking only male tilapia, stocking tilapia of mixed sex together with African catfish at a ratio of 1:10 for catfish: tilapia and stocking tilapia of mixed sex only. The tilapia raised under all-male culture had higher (P ≤ 0.0001) weight gain (65.95 ± 1.19 g) and growth rate (0.55 ± 0.01 g/d) than those under polyculture of tilapia and catfish. On the other hand, tilapia cultured under polyculture system had higher (P ≤ 0.0001) weight gain (55.43 ± 1.81 g) and growth rate (0.46 ± 0.02 g/d) compared to those raised under  mix  sex  culture  without  catfish  (weight  gain of

37.71 ± 3.03 g and growth rate of (0.31 ± 0.02 g/d). Since the culture of all-male tilapias resulted in higher growth  performance than  the  polyculture of tilapia with catfish and manual sexing is tedious, a study was conducted to determine the best ways of producing all- male population. Two methods were compared; hormonal sex reversal using 17α-methyltestosterone (17α-MT) and hybridization of Wami tilapia (O. urolepis) and Nile tilapia (O. niloticus). Sex reversed Nile tilapia were produced by feeding newly hatched fry a diet containing 60 mg of 17α-MT per kg of the diet for

28 days. Hybrid tilapias were produced by making a reciprocal cross of O. niloticus ♂ x O. urolepis ♀ and O. niloticus ♀ x O. urolepis ♂. The resulting F1 hybrids and hormonal sex reversed males were compared in a growth experiment conducted for 98 days. The results showed that hybridization of O. niloticus x O. urolepis resulted in slightly higher percentage of males (94%) compared to 17α-MT hormone treatment (90%). However, the percentages of males produced from the two methods were not significantly different (P > 0.05). The hybrids showed higher growth performance (weight gain = 31.54± 1.0 g, growth rate = 0.32 ± 0.01 g/d) than the hormonal sex reversed tilapia (weight gain = 25.91 ± 0.95 g, growth rate = 0.26 ± 0.01 g/d), which, in turn, had higher growth performance compared to the mixed sex tilapia (weight gain = 19.30 ± 0.98 g, growth rate = 0.20 ± 0.01 g/d).

To address the problem of unavailability and high price of protein concentrates in fish diets, a study was carried out to evaluate the possibility of replacing soybean meal, which is expensive, with Moringa oleifera leaf meal and sunflower seed cake in tilapia diets. Nine diets were formulated with different combination of soybean meal, Moringa leaf meal and sunflower seed cake. Nile tilapia fingerlings were grown in concrete tanks and fed the formulated diets for 90 days. Results indicated that fish fed the diet containing 50% sunflower seed cake and 50% Moringa leaf meal as sources of protein had higher (P ≤ 0.05) average body weight gain (23.03 ± 1.3 g) and growth rate (0.27 ± 0.01 g/d) than the fish fed other diets. Likewise, higher gross margin was obtained from  the fish fed the diet containing 50% sunflower seed cake and 50% Moringa leaf meal as protein sources. Therefore, the diet containing a mixture of Moringa leaf meal and sunflower leaf cake in equal proportions was found to be better than that with soybean meal.

In order to avoid unnecessary cost of feed, a study was carried out to determine the appropriate amount of feed and feeding frequency in order to minimize feed wastage and increase profitability. Three levels of feeding (i.e. 1%, 2.5% and 5% of fish body weight) and two feeding frequencies (i.e. daily feeding and alternate days feeding) were evaluated. Nile tilapia fingerlings were grown in concrete tanks for 90 days under a 3 x 2 factorial experiment. Results showed that the fish fed at the feeding level of 5% of body weight had higher (P ≤ 0.05) weight gain, growth rate, survival rate and feed conversion ratio while those fed at 1% feeding level had the lowest weight gain, growth rate, survival and feed conversion ratio. The fish under daily feeding regime had higher (P ≤ 0.05) weight gain, average daily gain and average feed conversion ratio than those under alternate days feeding regime. Feeding level of 5% of body weight and skipping a day resulted into better growth performance than daily feeding at 2.5% level.

To solve the problem of feed wastage in ponds and, hence, minimize production cost, an experiment was conducted to assess the effects of pond fertilization and supplementary feeding on the growth performance and profitability of Nile tilapia. Three treatments were compared namely, weekly fertilization alone with urea and Di-Ammonium Phosphate (DAP) at a rate of 3 g/m2 and 2 g/m2, respectively, concentrate feeding alone at 5% of fish body weight and weekly fertilization with urea and DAP plus concentrate feeding at 2.5% of fish body weight. Nile tilapia were grown in nine concrete tanks and subjected to the three treatments for a period of 166 days. Results indicated that fish reared in concrete tanks under fertilization plus concentrate feeding at 2.5% of fish body weight had higher (P ≤ 0.0001) weight gain (257.37 ± 5.71 g), growth rate (1.50 ± 0.03 g/d) and  gross margin (TZS 51,692,352 per ha per year) and  lower feed conversion ratio (1.49 ± 0.08) than the fish under concentrate feeding alone at 5% of fish body weight and fertilization alone.

The following conclusions were made: -

  1. Nile tilapia is superior in growth performance and survival compared to other tilapia
  2. The culture of all-male population of Nile tilapia results in higher growth performance and bigger fish than polyculture of mixed sex Nile tilapia and African
  • Growing Nile tilapia of mixed sex together with African catfish in the same pond produces tilapia of relatively larger size than is the case with only growing mixed male and female tilapias in the same pond.
  1. The hybrids of Nile tilapia and Wami tilapia have higher growth performance compared to hormonal sex-reversed Nile tilapia.
  2. The diet containing a mixture of 50% Moringa leaf meal and 50% sunflower seed cake as sources of protein promotes higher growth rate and results in higher profit than the diet containing soybean
  3. Daily feeding at the level of 5% of fish body weight promotes higher growth rate than feeding at 2.5% daily or at 5% on alternative
  • Feeding at the level of 5% of fish body weight on alternative days (skipping a day) results into better growth performance than daily feeding at 2.5% level.
  • Combination of weekly fertilization of ponds and concentrate feeding at 2.5% of fish body weight promotes higher growth rate and results into higher profit than either weekly fertilization alone or feeding alone at 5% of fish body weight.

Download full paper here

Watch Prof. Sebastian Chenyambuga Inaugural Lecture Presentation

Prof. Sebastian W. Chenyambuga from the Department of Animal, Aquaculture and Range Sciences of Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) successfully delivered his Professorial Inaugural Lecture titled “Development of sustainable Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis Niloticus) culture for improved food security and poverty reduction”.

Prof. Sebastian Chenyambuga of Sokoine University of Agriculture's Department of Animal, Aquaculture and Range Sciences presenting his professorial inaugural lecture on Development of sustainable Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis Niloticus) culture for improved food security and poverty reduction at SUA Main Campus

In the event which lasted about 2 hours, Prof. Chenyambuga got an opportunity to share his research journey explaining achievements and innovation he has made in Fish industry with aims of improving food security and poverty reduction in the society.

Prof. Chenyambuga is a Professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics and he holds PhD in Animal Genetics, Master of Science in Agriculture (Animal Production) and Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania.

He started his Professional career at SUA in 1995 as a Research Assistant under the ENRECA project in the Department of Animal Science and Production. Later on was employed as an Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Animal, Aquaculture and Range Sciences and rose to the rank of Professor in 2015.

Become an expert in Animal, Aquaculture and Range management

The department offers 3 undergraduate programmes as follows:
1.Bachelor of Science in Animal Science (BSc. ANS)
BSc. Animal Science programme prepares graduates with the necessary skills and knowledge required to serve the animal industry in the country and worldwide in a variety of ways including fields of Animal Nutrition, Breeding, Pasture and Range management, Management of various species of domestic animals and processing and marketing of livestock products. 
Practical training is made through the use of two laboratories, a dairy cum research farm, poultry, rabbit, piggery and shoat unit is attached to the department.

It is believed that graduates of this programme meet the formal educational requirements for professional Animal Scientists.

2.Bachelor of Science in Aquaculture (BSc AQU)
BSc. Aquaculture programme produces graduates with profound knowledge and skills in Aquaculture and related fields to carter for sustainable growth of aquaculture sub-sector in Tanzania and beyond. The department has been striving to establish facilities for practical training for BSc. Aquaculture students. Currently, there are 10 earthen ponds stocked with tilapia and catfish, 100 concrete tanks for different types of experiments.

In addition there are two hatchery units one for tilapia and one for Catfish.

3.Bachelor of Science in Range Management (BSc. RAM)
BSc. Range management is practically oriented with intention of imparting skills to students so that they can be able to address problems of animal pasture and water and their associated conflicts in the country. 

Students are involved in solving practical cases in management of rangelands including skills to minimize land-based conflicts between users. 

Apart from tutorials, seminars, subject practical and assignments, students go for eight week comprehensive field practical training by being attached to various livestock research and training institutions, ranches, Livestock Multiplication units, Civil societies and long trip to the Maasai steppe in Kiteto and Kilindi Districts.

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