The lion's share, about 80%, of the feed used in freshwater fish farming in Myanmar originates from agriculture by-products, according to Belton (2015). Formulated feed only takes account for the remaining one-fifth of the total feed used.
Commercial feed manufacture is dominated by one company (Htoo Thit Feed Co.). Htoo thit has a large feed mill and a large farming area. On top of that Htoo Thit has a contract farming system with a considerable number of farmers. Htoo Thit sells most of the fish to a processing company that is owned by the same family as Htoo Thit.
Competition in the commercial feed sector is increasing in recent years. Some of the large commercial farmers have recently set up their own feed production capacity. Moreover international competition is increasing. For example the Dutch animal nutrition company De Heus has started to import fish feeds from Vietnam. De Heus plans to start its production in Myanmar as soon as its first feed mill in the country will open in 2016 or 2017.
Fish seed is produced in hatcheries and grown on in nurseries, before it is released in large polyculture ponds. The Department of Fisheries (DoF) runs a large number of hatcheries, which distribute seed to small and medium scale farmers. These governmental hatcheries produced more than 500 million seeds in the financial year (FY) 2014-2015. Production from these hatcheries is concentrated in Mandalay (186 million), Yangon (141 million), Ayeyarwady (79 million) and Bago (73 million). Most of the larger commercial farmers run their own hatcheries. Most of these hatcheries are usually part of the large fish farming companies. These are located in the Ayeyarwady delta and Yangon region.
Most hatcheries produce four to eight different species, including Indian carp (70% of total production from DoF hatcheries), common carp, grass carp, and tilapia. Tilapia seed is also imported from Thailand or collected from culture ponds in which tilapia breeds continuously. For other species, including catla and mrigal, farmers depend more on seed from rivers and lakes.