The Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries has allocated Rp 4.8 billion ($523,000 USD) from the state budget this year to support the production of maggots as a cheaper source of fish feed. The maggots can be used as the basis for feed instead of fish flour, which must be imported from Chile at a higher cost.
The ministry plans to build 4,000 small fish food farms in Sumatra and Kalimantan because there are many palm oil plantations in those regions and maggots can be cultivated using a by-product of palm oil trees.
Made L Nurdjana, the ministry’s director general of aquaculture, said using maggots as the basis for fish feed could reduce the cost by 50 percent.
"The fish feed can be sold at Rp 3,000 a kilogram, some 50 percent cheaper than if we use fish flour as a raw material," Made said. In recent months, fish farmers have complained about the high cost of fish feed, saying it was preventing them from expanding their operations.