Fish Farming Charity in Battambang
The fish farming charity that we actively support is our own project. We aim to raise $400,000 from donations and profits from our commercial enterprises and from re-investing money from the fish we sell. We have ambitious plans for this amazing enterprise. Working with global experts that we know, we are confident that we will launch the project by the end of 2019. With your support we will produce 200,000 fish in year 1, rising by 200,000 fish per annum for the next 5 years.
Using the funds that we raise through our website and donations, we will “lend” farmers enough capital to invest in launching and maintaining their fish farm for 12 months. Their will be no interest and the repayment terms will be exceptionally generous. We believe that lending rather than a charity handout will allow farmers a certain amount of self respect and motivation.
The project does not simply cover rearing fish for personal consumption, but encompasses the planning of a fish farm through to building the farm and the commercial exploitation of fish farming. All for the benefit of the wider community. This is a not for profit business in the sense that shareholders etc will benefit from dividends etc.
We actively recruit volunteers who can help us move forward with our fish farming charity . When considering a Cambodian charity we hope that you will have this on your list. Cambodia Fish Farming is the only charity that we actively seek donations.
What do we know about Fish Farming
- Keep fish in ponds no deeper then 2 meters or less than 1.2 meter. Shallow ponds become to hot and deep ponds make it difficult to harvest the fish. Safety measures have to be installed and safety instilled into farmers. Most farms will have children on them.
- 2-4 fish per cubic meter of pond. This will depend on how much feed is available. Bought foods, rice husks and animal waste.
- Use growing ponds for fish fry until ready for larger ponds.
- Maximize use of ponds with different fish varieties.
- As a rule of thumb, fish pellets should be no bigger than the eye of the fish being fed.
- If fish pellets are not completely eaten, stop feeding. Over feeding does not make fish grow quicker.
- Do not use night lights at ponds. If you need night time security at ponds use infra red googles and cameras. These can be purchased reasonably cheaply.
- Recirculate water from ponds to agricultural fields – pump water from pond floor and add oxygenated water from sprays. Fish waste is high in potassium and other nutrients which makes it an excellent fertilizer.
- Keep ponds to a reasonable size for harvesting and continuity purposes; 20m x 40m is ideal. It is better to have 3-5 medium sized ponds rather than 1 huge pond.
- Fish of similar size in same ponds so that the fish can be harvested at the same time.
- Each farm to have at least 3 – 5 ponds to maintain a regular supply of mature fish.
- Many fish that are reared in ponds in Asia (or the Tonle Sap) have a dirt taste. Simply keep fish in a clean water environment with no food and they will basically clean themselves out.
- The addition of clove oil when transporting live fish keeps them calm and prevents death.
- Fish should be transported as early in the morning as possible.
- Aerate at night and longer on cloudy days.
- Feeding and aeration can substantially increase growth and fish numbers in ponds.
- Marketing plans and research for surplus fish is essential.
Planning and building a Fish Farm
A full detailed plan will be available for each farm. Including exact timescales, dimensions, layouts and technical drawings. We are going to assume that Cambodian farmers have zero equipment.
- Survey and layout the land for digging the ponds.
- Decide on best time to dig ponds; obviously in drier seasons
- Mechanical or manual digging
- Locate suitable water supply; local river or undergrounds water supply.
- decide on location of solar water pumps
- Grow out ponds.
- Order and purchase equipment
- Solar pump
- Aeration paddles if required
- Solar power for above
- Infra red goggles
- Transportation tanks
- Ice making equipment
- Dip nets
- Seine reels
- Pond lining
- Pond supports
- Life vests
- Fish food (we can use pig food pellets)
- pellets must float
- cost of resale fish should be at least 2.5 times cost of feed
- record books
- Fish filleting knives and tables
- Hydrated lime
- Inorganic fertilizer (16-20-0 or 15-15-15) – Nitrogen/Phosphorous/ Potassium
- Organic fertilizer – manure, vegetation etc
- Solar aeration paddles.
- Spades and shovles
- Weighing Scales
- Transport tanks
- Training/education. Nam Sai can offer training at their farms in Thailand.
- Arrange supply of fish fry/fingerlings.
- Storage for feed.
Some equipment by necessity will be shared in a co-operative enviroment. This equipment might be purchased, leased or rented (daily, weekly, monthly or yearly).
- Digger and digging equipment.
- Drilling equipment for water wells.
- Water location specialists.
- Theodolite/land survey equipment.
- Pellet manufacturing. We may at some point wish to manufacture our own pellets. However if adequate fish pellets are not available pig food pellets are acceptable.
Red Tilapia Fish Farming
They are one of the fastest growing farmed fish and are fairly hardy. In addition to this, their body weight is one of the highest protein content of any fish for human consumption: and they look good. We are opting for red over black tilapia because of red cook better – making it a better commercial product.
The Nam Sai hybrid red tilapia are ideal for fish farming:
- From 0.2 grams they will grow to maturity of 700 grams within 6 months. Meaning 2 potential harvests per year.
- Red Tilapia have a high fillet yield. In laymen’s terms it is good for eating.
- They have moderate disease resistance which can be increased with inoculation.
Cat Fish – Pangasius hypophthalmus
This is a marvelous indigenous fish to Asia and is well suited for farming purposes for several reasons:
- It has been cultured and farmed in Asia for decades making it recognizable to most farmers.
- From 0.5g it will grow to 2kg within 12 months and up to 10kg.
- As a possible game fish for angling they can grow to as much as 40kg in larger ponds and lakes.
- These cat fish are tolerant of poor quality water, preventing the need for water management and purification.
- Water deficient in dissolved oxygen does not provide an obstacle for healthy growth as they can breathe air meaning that no aeration of the ponds are required.
- Pangasius can eat about almost anything including manure and waste products. Ponds are often created below latrines.
- They are high in lipids making them a nutritious meal.
- This fish is suited to high density farming producing more fish per cubic metre.
- Cat fish can be transported live in relatively small amounts of water without need of refrigeration, which is ideal in Cambodia.
- As a hardy local fish they are not prone to disease.
Fish fry or fingerling
What is the difference? Young fry often die in transportation and easily becomes diseased. Older fingerlings have a better success rate and are inoculated against fishy diseases. It is far simpler and cheaper to buy fish fry than try to breed them. Fish fry can be bought for as little as 5,000 for $100. Nam Sai offers guarantees transport mortality rates and an additional 5% on every order.
Where do you buy tilapia or cat fish
Nam Sai fish farm in Thailand has been know to us for many years and a global supplier of tilapia fry and fingerlings. This hatchery produces tens of millions of sex-reversed male tilapia fingerlings monthly. It is run by Warren Turner who is from Wales and obtained an advanced degree at the Asia Institute of Technology outside Bangkok. He is fluent in Thai and has run his operation for close to 30 years. He ships male fingerlings throughout Thailand and to 45 other countries
Does sex matter
The sex of the fish is very important as you do not want them trying to breed, and why is that? They use energy and we want as much protein per fish as possible. All the fish we supply are reversed sex to males; no females allowed! It is easier and cheaper to buy reversed sex fingerlings that have been inoculated than to try and breed our own. Males grow bigger, quicker and have more protein.
Ponds to suit Cambodian farmers
You have to keep the size of ponds to less than 40m x 20m, which allows them to be easily managed. It is also important that fish are kept in ponds that are 1m deep to 2m deep; under 1m deep and they get too hot and over 2m the fish are difficult to catch.
Ducks and catfish join the party
Ducks are good for adding essential nutrients to ponds and catfish are great bottom feeders. Neither of these will eat adult tilapia.
Solar water pumps
One challenge farmers have in Battambang district is either too much or too little rain. Pumps are required to either pump water from groundwater or to remove it during the rainy season. Having petrol or gas pumps are not the solution as farmers will run out of fuel. Unfortunately, if you give farmers petrol it might be used for other purposes. The answer is a decent solar powered pump. A suitable pump is going to be in the range of $3,000.
We have looked at several options for our fish farms and continue to do so. However, the RPS 800 solar well pump or similar will be a fantastic option.