ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
A GLOBAL company trading in animal nutrition and aquaculture, Nutreco, and African Century Foods (ACF) have entered into a joint venture to construct and operate a fish feed plant in Siavonga.
ACF, a fish product supplier to Uganda, Zimbabwe and Zambia, will have a 25 percent stake while Nutreco will hold 75 percent share in manufacturing and distributing tilapia seed in the region.
According to a statement issued by Kariba Harvest Limited and availed to the Daily Mail recently, the new plant, which will be operating as Skretting (Zambia) Nutrecoâ€™s global brand for aqua feed, will have a production capacity of 25,000 tonnes of extruded fish feed at initial stage.
Modern fish feeds are made by grinding and mixing together ingredients such as fishmeal, vegetable proteins and binding agents such as wheat. Water is added and the resulting paste is extruded through holes in a metal plate.
The construction of the plant, which is expected to start by June this year immediately after regulatory approval from responsible government agencies, is envisaged to create about 50 jobs.
The new plant will be located in Siavonga, Lake Kariba, close to the major fish farms in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Under the second phase, the plant capacity will be expanded with the aim of supplying the wider South-East African region,â€ the statement reads.
Commenting on the development, Nutreco managing director for operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa Harm de Wildt said the production of high quality fish feed will further support the development of aqua-culture in Zambia and the region.
â€œThis joint venture is a new step in our commitment to the African market, adding to recent fish feed investments in Egypt and Nigeria. [The investment] will help increase efficiency and profitability for customers and mitigate the environmental footprint of the sector,â€ he said.
And ACF chief executive officer Henry Pitman said having consistent supplies of high quality feed is critical to the success of the companyâ€™s aquaculture operations in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Mr Pitman said the feed mill will enable the company to expand its current production levels and help reduce production cost.
ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka