Read an exclusive interview with Mary Banda, Sales Officer for Skretting Zambia, a returning bronze sponsor at the upcoming Agritech Expo Zambia in Chisamba from 12 to 14 April 2018.
Welcome to Agritech Expo! What would you consider as particular highlights for your company during 2018?
As Skretting Zambia was founded in the year 2016, we are glad to say that the plant which was constructed to be able to produce 35 000 tons per annum is now operational and fully functional. It is able to produce 6 different types of feed namely Nutra 160, Tilapia 35, Tilapia 32, Tilapia 30, Nutra 48 and Tilapia Vitalis.
The feed plant located in Siavonga is now playing a major role in covering the gap in the shortage of high quality extruded fish feed as it is spreading its coverage across Zambia to ensure that all farmers have access to its feed.
Any exciting new products or projects in the agri sector that are in the offing for this year?
Skretting Zambia is now able to produce a range of grower feeds, beginning from a 1.6 mm pellet to a 4.5 mm. We also have in stock a 4.5 mm pellet of brood stock feed, which is called Tilapia Vitalis. With this highly consumable feed the performance of your brood stock increases and enables you to have healthy, high performing brood stock and also quality fingerlings.
Also coming in is Nutra 48, a high quality 4.5 mm pellet, with a protein level of 48% which is to be crumbled – the product of our own local starter high quality feeds. With the recent purchase of a crumbler we are glad to say high quality starter feeds will be on the market soon.
The starter feeds include Protec which was developed by the Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre (ARC) in Stavanger, Norway. Protec helps to shield skin, gut and gills, it supports the immune system, provides the building blocks for new cells and optimises the balance between fish, microbes and environment. InTtilapia Protec gave excellent protection during a challenge with Streptococcus, an aggressive bacterium especially virulent at high water temperatures and organic loading.
What in your view are Zambia’s aquaculture sector main challenges currently? How can the farming community overcome these challenges?
In most parts of Zambia there has been the use of traditional methods in growing fish. Most traditional methods will lead to lower yield of fish at harvest and might also compromise water quality.
Challenges of the farmers getting lower yields can now be overcome by using high quality extruded fish feed such as Skretting Zambia feed to ensure maximum weight and at least 2 harvests a year.
What makes the aquaculture sector in Zambia exciting?
What makes it exciting is the fact that Zambia has got an abundance of water bodies and the country has favourable temperatures to support the growth of fish.
The aquaculture status in Zambia is rapidly increasing with a number of donor supported aquaculture development programmes targeting small-scale farmers. The successful introduction of fish farming methods from Eastern Europe has led to an explosive interest and a number of farmers have adopted the practice in various parts of the country.
Programmes such as the new ZAEDEP project will educate farmers on good farming practices to ensure that production is boosted.
How important is Agritech Expo as an annual forum for the farming sector in this region?
Very important. It is a platform where all stake holders from the aquaculture and agriculture sector meet to discuss and share ideas on issues that are vital in the development on the sector.
It is also a platform where new and established products are marketed.
What will be your message at Agritech Expo this year and what will you showing the farmers about aquaculture at the event?
We as Skretting Zambia want to play a major role in pushing Zambia’s aquaculture system to greater heights of meeting its per capita consumption of fish. We would like to play a role in helping people sustain their livelihoods by helping them better understand the importance of using quality extruded feed.
At this event we will showcase the different quality feeds that we have to offer and also help and guide farmers with technical aspects regarding to fish farming.
Anything else you would like to add?
We would like to express to express our sincere gratitude to the Agritech Expo committee for giving us an opportunity/platform to interact with various stake holders and showcase our quality fish feed.
This year’s Agritech Expo Zambia takes place from 12 to 14 April. Click here to visit their website.