My enthusiasm for, and confidence in Tilapia farming as a sustainable means of producing protein in the 21st Century never wanes. Despite the challenges facing potential investors in this sector, I remain bullish that this is THE species that will provide a large percentage of our protein intake in the future.
I have however, watched in dismay as the industry struggles to find its feet here at the southern tip of Africa. All that has probably been lacking is a coordinated marketing plan and the resolution of some minor technical issues, the temperature requirement being one.
My promotion, over the years for Aquaponic (AP) farming of Tilapia, is well-documented and not a week goes by without a number of my readers emailing me with questions or advice in this regard from all corners of the world. While AP is my passion, I also keep my eyes and ears open for any traditional aquaculture systems that seem worthwhile.
Recently I came across a turnkey system locally that really got my attention. The technical aspects were impressive enough, but when I realised that it was being marketed by David Fincham, who is now at Dicla Farm and Seeds, I really got excited. David has a wealth of experience in the tilapia industry locally and has served on numerous industry-specific committees. Dicla on the other hand are a well-respected agricultural supply company with years of experience in the farming sector.
The Dicla Tilapia system can be summarised as follows;
- Tilapia are stocked in net cages and held for a period of 21days in each net.
- Every 21 days the Tilapia are carefully transferred to the next cage until after 189 days they are ready for harvest at a weight of 260-350g a healthy plate size fish.
- All the water is recycled and put through various filtering and cleaning processes to return to the system.
- Water temperature is maintained by Solar energy from the greenhouse and is retained by the efficient system design so that heat losses between day and night time temperatures are only 1-2 Degrees Celsius.
- The Dicla Eco Tilapia are fead a well formulated and processed commercial Tilapia Pellet feed. The Tilapia are hand fed according to a feed table 7-8 times a day. This hand feeding allows one to monitor the feeding response of the Tilapia, their health and the health of the system.
- Water quality is constantly monitored and tested on a regular basis to ensure Tilapia health and growth.
I am sure that a couple of vegetable growbeds could easily be bolted onto this system to provide a supplementary crop and assist in the bio-filtration, but I am sure David could answer this question.
If you are looking for a well-designed, turnkey Tilapia system, this could be it. I was most impressed by the design of the system and the realistic and verifiable production figures given in their promotional material.
Who knows? This could just be, the one.
You can find Dicla’s website here.
Davids email address is david(at)dicla.com or phone him on + 27116622846.
Be sure to tell them that;
“Synaptoman sent me“, and you will be looked after.