Construction of a state of the art US$10 million fish feed plant in Siavonga in Zambia’s Southern Province, has been completed. It is the first plant of its kind in the country.
Government has meanwhile called for more private sector investment in the aquaculture industry to increase fish production.
“This will produce feed for the local market and exports to the SADC region,” said Aller Aqua-Zambia Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Leon Günter. Günter said this will be the largest fish feed manufacturing plant in Africa.
It was funded by the Danish Investment Fund and follows the completion of a similar project by Aller Aqua-Zambia in Egypt in 2011.
The factory was established in a joint venture with Oakfield Holdings Limited. Aller Aqua also has a take-off agreement to supply feed to local tilapia producer Yalelo Limited, one of the world’s largest tilapia producers.
Günter said the company will also set up a centre to train local farmers in modern methods and technology to enhance national fish production.
Zambia’s annual fish deficit stands at 55 000 tons, while overfishing and unsustainable fishing methods have led to the decline of fish stock.
Meanwhile, Fisheries Minister Michael Katambo said private investment will help tap the vast potential of Zambian aquafarming.
“Active private sector investment in the industry will stimulate local production and position Zambia as a major exporter of fish,” Katambo said yesterday, when he opened the Southern African Development (SADC) Worldfish Forum in Lusaka.
Worldfish Programme Director Michael Phillips said quality fish seed, backed by a well-managed genetic improvement programme, will help SADC economies scale up productivity.
“Accelerating research and innovation in aquaculture and fisheries will lead to greater impact for small-scale fisheries,” he said.