Consider this: fish aquaculture is expanding faster than any other animal-based food sector worldwide. Simultaneously, the catch of fish on open seas is stagnating. Indonesia’s fish catches have only grown 3% over the past few years, meaning fish stocks in the open oceans are being exhausted. On the other hand, aquaculture grew at 21% for the past six years. Thus the future for the fishery industry in Indonesia may lie in aquaculture.
Gibran Huzaifah, 26, is aware of these circumstances. In 2010, during his third year as a biology student at Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), he started a fishery business handling several fishponds. Sadly, the business didn’t do well. “I struggled with the feeding cost. It depleted three-quarters of the total operational cost,” says Gibran, now chief executive and co-founder of Cybreed, which makes the technology eFishery.
Overfeeding is always a challenge that every farmer encounters in the aquaculture business. It is hard to determine how much food fish and shrimp need, as well as problems of tainting the water in which the fish swim from overfeeding. “There is also the risk of (feed) being stolen,” adds Gibran.
In 2012, Gibran came up with a solution called eFishery, which is sold by Cybreed (its formal name is PT Multidaya Teknologi Nusantara). It is a smart feeding solution for fish and shrimp cultivation, which enables a machine to feed fish and shrimp automatically. It can sense the fish’s appetite and adjust the amount of feed given. It is also connected to the Internet. It can be controlled directly from a smartphone or laptop, anytime and anywhere. Gibran says the technology can cut 25% of feeding costs, cut the production cost by 16% per kg, raise average daily growth by 15% per kg, thus significantly boosting profits.
As of today, Gibran has marketed 200 of the eFishery units throughout Java and Sumatra. Most consumers are major animal feed producers, such as Japfa Comfeed and Charoen Pokphand. By the end of this year, Gibran expects to deploy at least 2,500 units of eFishery by entering the Kalimantan and Sulawesi markets. “We just started a rental system recently with very friendly terms of payment. Farmers can pay the rental fee right after the harvest. We are hoping farmers can afford the technology through this payment system,” says Gibran.
The rental system is expected to help boost sales this year. Per unit, Gibran sells the machine for Rp 5.8 to 7.8 million (depending on the feed capacity), while the rental system charges the farmers only Rp 300,000 per month. As a startup, eFishery is highly unusual, as it has made money from day one.
Source: Forbes Indonesia. Read original article here.