Aquaculture Presents New Market for Soy
To further diversify, U.S. soybean farmers focus on finding new markets while helping to feed a growing global population; one avenue with untapped potential is aquaculture. Philip Good, a Mississippi Farmer and United Soybean Board Director, says soybean meal is an excellent feed ingredient for aquaculture, also known as fish farming—a sector helping to address global food security.
“Food security is a major issue in many developing and emerging countries around the world. And soy-based feed for aquaculture is a growing and sustainable part of that solution to get more affordable protein to many people. And soybean meal is an excellent feed source for aquaculture because of its protein content, its balanced amino acids and a high level of digestibility for most fish and shrimp species. And many aquaculture diets now contain 25 to 30 percent soy as a part of that formulation.”
The American Soybean Association’s World Initiative for Soy and Human Health, or WISHH program, and the U.S. Soybean Export Council, are focused on marketing U.S. soy around the world, including developing marketing opportunities for soy-based feed in aquaculture.
“Both WISSH and USSEC are seeing the potential for expanding agriculture around the world, and especially when you consider that about 3.3 billion people rely on seafood for almost 20 percent of their protein intake. WISSH is also investing a lot of time in aquaculture improvement to increase the amount of protein available to the fish.”
Good adds aquaculture represents a significant market opportunity for U.S. soybean farmers.
“I started raising catfish in the 90s along with a lot of other area farmers to create a new revenue source. I think the soy industry is on the threshold of doing with aquaculture what’s been done with chicken, pork and beef. We’ve got high quality feed, we’ve got a reliable product and soy is sustainable. So, I think it’s a tool in the tool belt that we need to introduce to other countries and help them to utilize it as well. it’s a win for the U.S. soybean farmer and it’s a win for them and their food source.”
Keep up with the latest news from the United Soybean Board at unitedsoybean.org and Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. Eastern on RFD-TV.