Hazem Khaled Ataya
Abo-Donkol Feed Mill
There will be a huge gap between supply and demand in the near future. To find a solution to this, we need to look deeply into each country. Otherwise, sooner or later a great hunger may be encountered in many countries.
International trade of grains and meals especially those used in feed manufacture has met a significant increase of price and this leaded to price increase in feed.
With that increment researchers started to look for feed substitutions to replace regular feeds particularly in poultry feeds of which cost is very high because they are raised in huge numbers.
After some suggestions, Azolla “Azolla pinnata” has come to light as a potential substitution.
Azolla is a fern species that contain a good total protein amount, but poor in specific amino acids like methionine and fatty acids and vitamins that are needed in metabolism to produce meat, milk or eggs.
Researchers suggested using azolla up to 20% replacement of total feed amount, but after many trials, some issues have appeared:
First: low palatability
Second: It is hard to use in wet form and after drying it loses about 95% of its total weight and cost increase more than almost all regular raw materials.
Third: low amount of essential components needed in metabolism.
And with this hard handling issue, producers and consumers couldn’t use azolla in a big scale. In the way looking for a replacement, a new idea has been appeared as a real particular substitution: “Liquid feed”.
That type of feed is a solution of some dissolved substances that is concentrated to be absorbed in intestines directly, such as amino acids, fatty acids and carb resource like molasses, and replace pellet feed up to 25% which decreases the total cost.
But even with this new idea, we have to think for a while: Why are those raw materials so expensive and do we really have only one way to find a feed substitution? To be obvious, every creature in animal kingdom has his own nature in feeding: carnivorous, herbivorous or omnivorous.
And even inside every division, there are some who eat fresh or cooked meat, and who are fed on whole plants or only grains such as ruminants and poultry.
With high demand and further research of new species to produce more animal products, deep research has been conducted exploring many industrial ways of producing food from grains such as gluten, DDGS and etc. to increase crop and grain production biologically and genetically.
The world has followed the normal and direct way to naturally maximize the production and used some additives to meet feed needs of animal farms with low biologically risks.
Now, why do we try to find a replacement for regular and natural feed resources, and does another choice or solution except for feed substitution even exist? The answer of the first question is, indeed the expensive price of feed raw materials and total cost led people to find a substitution.
The first answer is the expected one but what about the second part of the question? We have to believe that a solution exists but it is not easy to achieve.
Generally, it is a global issue and the main reason is that the U.S Dollar is the most prevalent currency in international trade because it is the most stable currency of the world.
Although many other currencies are also being used in global trade, most of countries in the North and South America and the Middle East use Dollar as the main currency for import and export.
All countries face different local exchange rates for dollar depending on their currency value. So, when the value of the local currency is low, the concerning country would face high price of materials when importing them.
Also agricultural activity and cultivation area of needed crops to fulfill animal production needs rather than importing most of needed materials, sure would decrease the price and will let the country to import most important needs in other industries to maximize the economic activity.
In addition, in many countries, the use of many species used directly as human food such as wheat is prohibited in feed production.
Moreover, some corrupt behaviors in any country by some businessmen who monopolize the import of raw materials thanks to the weak law system of the concerned country. This gives them the opportunity to control the price and gain more profit.
At last, I would like to express that with high global demand that keeps increasing every day; soon we will find a massive gap between supply and demand.
Moreover, we need to have a deep look at every country for finding a solution: find ways to increase the cultivation area of crops and grains to fulfill human needs from both plants and animal products instead of just importing and keep up with scientific paths to find a significant solution (not only feed substitution).
Otherwise, sooner or later, we will face a huge starvation in many countries and the world will be obligated to fix it.