Hussaini Used Lean Skills to Improve Recordkeeping and Aquaculture Productivity
This post originally appeared on the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish website and was written by the Applying Lean Management in Aquaculture Production team.
Isah Hussaini, an engineer and farm manager, was struggling with keeping records and managing costs on his fish farm before attending a Lean management training by a Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish activity.
Toyota Manufacturing developed the “Lean Production Systems” approach to prevent loss and increase efficiency in the business, and since then, others have used the concept in other fields with similar success. The Applying Lean Management in Aquaculture Production Activity translated the lessons learned from the car production sector to the aquaculture value chain and found ways to reduce waste and increase efficiency and profit at the farm level.
“Before the training, I never kept records because I was always extremely busy,” Hussaini said. “However, during the training, I realized the importance of recordkeeping. The profit I thought I was earning was not even close to what I was actually making because there were a lot of missing pieces since I was not recording consistently. Now, I take detailed records of everything.”
Also, through the Lean training, Hussaini learned how to cut costs and save money on his farm. He realized that he was spending a lot of money to fuel his water pumps daily. With the activity’s help, he learned to make effective use of the pumps by using one pump machine for four fishponds instead of one pump per pond. With this, cost of machine maintenance was reduced, as well as the cost of energy. The training also taught him why floating feed is much better than sinking feed, and he saved money by making the switch.
“When I was using the sinking feed, we changed the water about every two weeks because the sinking feed breaks down and affects water quality overtime,” Hussaini said. “Now, I wait a month or even two months before it needs to be changed.”
The switch to floating feed alone has helped him conserve energy by not having to use the water pumps as often, and it has reduced feed waste and improved efficiency on his fish farm. Overall, Hussaini worked on several on-farm projects to make improvements to his farm, but additionally, his experience has motivated him to teach other farmers about the benefits of Lean training to help improve their operations as well.
“I am using the Lean approach both on my farm and in my other work,” Hussaini said. “The Lean mindset is something that can be used in other areas of life, not just on farms.”