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May 15, 2018 15:18
Fish farming

Tilápia breeders increase production and improve life in Paraná's state

All because of the integration, a model of work similar to what is used by chicken and swine

Tilapia breeders from Paraná state have increased production and changed their lives in the last year. All because of integration, a model of work similar to what is used by chicken and swine producers. The fishermen of the region of Palotina suffered at the time of selling their fish, but the situation changed.

The fish farming is one of the main businesses of the Sponchiado family. Rafael, brother Rrenan and parents Ari and Rosane care for a farm with 22-hectare, with chickens, dairy cattle and tilapia. The fish breeding began almost 30 years ago to take advantage of a wetland.

"At that time, it was carp, pacu, piau, fish that are normally found in rivers. The people bought there, gave a payment, a percentage, then disappeared and never showed up again. I was very deceived, so I got to the point of almost wanting to stop, before the integration", says Ari Sponchiado.

Ari is one of the 100 producers who see the integration system as a milestone. He was not the only one who faced trouble. "It's been a year since we lost, because we could not get the fish. That was when the idea of ??integration came into being", says the producer Cesar Buttini.

The fish integration system works in the same way as in chickens and swine production. The producers receive from the cooperative the fingerlings, the ration, technical assistance and still have a guaranteed market. "Fish is part of this maize and soybean processing chain that the producer produces in meat", explains Alfredo Lang, president of the C.Vale cooperative.

Alfredo bets on the venture: "Now, we invest in the processing plant, in the slaughterhouse and this work cost R $ 100 million. That's a quarter of what's expected to happen. "

The processing plant, inaugurated by the cooperative in October 2017, in Palotina, receives daily 37 thousand tilapia. They are slaughtered and go through several stages until they reach the filet, which will then be frozen and packed. The processing plant still operates in just one shift, but has the structure to process four times more fish. Two hundred and seventy employees work in the plant. Many of them are newly hired.

The salary is not much, but for Haitian civil servant Joane Amilcar, the new job with a formal contract allows planning big changes: "I have a four-year-old daughter in Haiti. She is in Haiti with her father. I have not seen her in two years. With my money, I'll be able to bring her here. "

Another new building is the feed mill to meet the integrated. Currently, there are 100 tonnes of fish feed per day, but the forecast is to double production by the end of the year. "We've always joked that tilapia is the new chicken, because there's a chance of fantastic growth in this area," says Elvis de Oliveira, factory supervisor.

The chicks, or rather the fry, are the first to receive the feed. A company specialized in the production of fingerlings is one of the suppliers of the cooperative. The production begins in greenhouses, with the reproducers. As protection, the females store the eggs already fertilized in the mouth. In the laboratory, they hatch, turning into tiny fry.

With 10 to 15 days of life, the fingerlings are taken to uncovered tanks. At this location, they are treated by automatic feeders, who feed ration 18 times a day. It's a way to slow down the competition for food and make it grow more evenly. When they reach about one gram, the fingerlings are considered ready.

"The property has the capacity to produce 100 million fingerlings. Our goal is to produce 70% of capacity and we are very close to achieving this goal, "says the producer Ari Sgarbi.

The property is directed by Ari Sgarbi, his two daughters Ariane and Heloisa and, in the office, by his wife Claudia. Ariane spent his childhood visiting the tanks with his father, but it was not immediately face-to-face he assumed the tasks: "In the beginning, the fish did not have that value that it has now. So my parents always told us: 'Go study, go study', they never encouraged us to stay. But I graduated in architecture, I came back and I am still here today".

Heloisa is a veterinarian, but she did not think about the fish when she chose the course: "I wanted to work more with the clinic, but during college I became more interested in the fish and I ended up staying."

Just for the cooperative project, the Sgarbi send six million fingerlings per harvest, which runs from August to May. The fryers go to the producer tanks of creators responsible for the second phase: the production of the so-called juvenile.

"We work with four levels of feed, with different pellets. We have protection against predators, especially birds. And the question of the part of the aeration. It is necessary that the aeration is practically 24 hours connected ", explains the fishing engineer Paulo Poggere.

Owners César and Clayton run the breeding four times a day throwing ration. The integration system brought the cooperative technician to the farm, and so Clayton improved his handling: "You do not have this follow-up, if you throw the ration all day, he'll eat until he dies. You're going to kill him from giving him enough food. "

It is the weighing of the fish that will determine the size and quantity of the feed. To each kilogram of feed, 800 grams of fish are obtained. As the density at breeding is high, 80 tilapia per square meter, a constant monitoring of water quality is also important. "We come once a week, collecting each tank and all parameters are made: ph, ammonia, nitrite, alkalinity, nitrate. If everything is in compliance, beauty, if not, we go with corrections, "explains Rafael da Silva, aquaculture technologist.

After 45 days, the tilapia reaches a weight of 30 grams. It's time to make the expense and take the fish to the next step. The expense is made by the cooperative. Tilapia in juvenile phase go through a selection and only the largest are harvested. They go to a truck with controlled conditions to avoid transportation losses.

"I get from the cooperative around R $ 50 a thousand and my cost is around R $ 30 a thousand," says producer César Buttini.

Eight million juveniles left the creation of César in the first year of integration. If the profit is $ 20 per thousand fish, it was $ 160 thousand profit. It is no wonder that in comparison to soybeans, tilapia is getting better. "One hectare of water blade is equivalent to 15 hectares of soybeans. My plans are to expand fish farming, "he plans.

More and more tanks are spreading through the fields of Paraná. It is water that does not end. Every day, 10% to 15% of the volume of water from the tanks is changed to ensure quality. When the expense is made and all fish are removed, the tank is completely emptied before re-cultivation. All the water that passed through the rearing contains organic matter, from the fish waste, and if it is thrown directly into the river, there is a risk of contamination.

According to veterinarian Gustavo Fernandes, this dirty water, the effluent, should remain in a settling tank for at least six hours, before returning to nature. The solid material would deposit in the bottom and not go to the river. Another system would be the passage of water from the tanks through an area with filter plants, but not all breeders take care of the effluents.

"Today, 75% of our members already have an effluent treatment system. The remaining 25% are in the process of being adjusted because all of them have old projects, which are consolidated from before 2008. So these projects needed only a simple license to regularize the activity. New projects today are not released if you do not have that kind of effluent treatment. Today, the water of these 25% ends up returning to streams, "says Gustavo.

As tilapia is an exotic fish, you also need to prevent it from going into nature, where it can compete with native fish.

Good results

Ari Sponchiado, the producer who was about to give up the tilapia, decided to invest: "To reform all the tanks was around 100 hours of machine, gave more than $ 20 thousand, about $ 50 thousand to leave everything appropriate, as C.Vale asked. "

Electrical installation, generators, pavement to improve the accesses ... All this was done to suit the requirements of the cooperative. And thus Ari was able to house 108 thousand tilapias in six tanks.

On average, it takes eight months to reach the ideal point, but this year, with the favorable weather, went even faster. "From what we weigh now, we are over 900 grams. It reached that time in five months and ten days, "says Ari.

The fear of the beginning of the activity was quickly overcome by the results, with the help of the technicians and the learning in the practice. "In the first lot, we had a small mortality because of the quality of the water. This lot has not happened, everything is quiet. The fish you do not see, so you have to pay attention to the water. In the short term, we expect to double the amount of production, "reports breeder Rafael Sponchiado.

Alfredo Lang, president of the cooperative, says he has a market for this: "Although fish is a more expensive meat, I believe a lot in the domestic market and also in the foreign market."

"The first lot almost paid the investment because I made almost $ 60 thousand in the first batch. So it's being very promising and I'm very happy with the activity. Working safely makes the person confident, "celebrates Ari Sponchiado.

The Brazilian consumes, on average, 9.5 kg of fish per year. It is less than half the average consumption in the world. This market still has a lot to grow in Brazil.


Adaptado do portal Globo Rural/Adapted from the Globo Rural website