Assessment of the Potential Economic Viability of Using Algal Paste on Selected Prawn Hatcheries in Panay, Philippines


by: Louie Marie T. Eluriaga, Rodelio F. Subade, Soledad S. Garibay, Macy Esmilla


The use of live microalgae poses constraints and problems in the prawn hatcheries. To address this issue, research efforts have been initiated to develop a locally produced algal paste as a substitute to live microalgae. This study was an attempt to determine the possible economic viability of using algal paste as natural food input to eight selected prawn hatcheries in Panay, Philippines. Since algal paste is a new feed technology, an economic viability assessment is essential to gauge its potential in improving profitability of prawn hatcheries. Cost and return analysis was used to evaluate the viability of using algal paste. The potential economic viability of using algal paste was determined using production data of hatchery operations and results of the laboratory experiments and product testing of algal paste conducted by the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), University of the Philippines Visayas. As for the basis of pricing for the algal paste, a shadow price and selling price were used. Results of the cost and return analysis showed that prawn hatcheries operate profitably. Pure economic profit was positive at PHP 366.73 per ton using algal paste based on CFOS selling price but lower compared to the use of live microalgae. Continuous effort to bring down the operating cost of algal paste production will prove to be effective in making algal paste more profitable to use as food input for prawn hatcheries.

Keywords: potential economic viability, algal paste, selected prawn hatcheries, Panay