Tropical agricultural residues and their potential uses in fish feeds: the Costa Rican situation

J.B. Ulloa Rojas, J.H. van Weerd, E.A. Huisman, J.A.J. Verreth

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38 Citations (Scopus)


In Costa Rica as many other tropical countries, the disposal problem of agricultural wastes is widely recognized but efforts to find solutions are not equal for different sectors. This study describes the situation of major agricultural residues in Costa Rica, identifying the activities with higher amounts produced and, the potential use of these residues in fish feeds. In Costa Rica, during the 1993¿1994 production season, major agricultural sectors (crop and livestock) generated a total amount of 3.15¿3.25 million MT of residues (classified in by-products: used residues and wastes: not used residues). Some residues are treated to turn them into valuable items or to diminish their polluting effects (e.g., the so-called by-products). About 1.56¿1.63 million MT of by-products were used for different purposes (e.g. fertilization, animal feeding, fuel, substrates in greenhouses). However, the remainder (1.59¿1.62 million MT) was discharged into environment causing pollution. About 1.07¿1.2 million MT wastes came from major crop systems (banana, coffee, sugarcane and oil palm) whereas the remainder came from animal production systems (porcine and poultry production, slaughtering). These data are further compared to residues estimates for the 2001¿2002 production season coming from the biggest crops activities. Unfortunately, most of the studied wastes contain high levels of moisture and low levels of protein, and also contain variable amounts of antinutritional factors (e.g., polyphenols, tannins, caffeine), high fibre levels and some toxic substances and pesticides. All these reasons may limit the use of these agricultural wastes for animal feeding, especially in fish feeds. The potential use of the major vegetable and animal residues in fish feeds is discussed based on their nutritional composition, on their amount available over the year and on their pollution risks. Other constraints to use these wastes in fish feeds are the extra costs of drying and, in most cases, of transportation from several dispersed locations. It was stated that most interesting wastes are rejected green banana and coffee pulp
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-97
JournalWaste Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • coffee pulp
  • body-composition
  • cyprinus-carpio
  • growth-response
  • practical diets
  • wastes
  • tilapia
  • replacement
  • meal

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