ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka
YALELO Limited will invest US$9.5 million to increase production at the companyâ€™s cage fish farming operations in Siavonga.
Company chief executive officer Bryan McCoy said the expansion programme will enable Yalelo Limited to increase its annual fish production from 7,000 tonnes to 30,000 tonnes in the next five years.
In a statement availed to the Daily Mail on Tuesday, Mr McCoy said the investment will also create an additional 150 specialist full-time jobs and engage 100 non-skilled staff.
â€œYalelo is extremely proud to be investing further into local production capacity.Â Zambia has the resources to be the leader in regional fish production, and Yalelo is ready to anchor Siavongaâ€™s emergence as the aquaculture capital of sub-Saharan Africa,â€ he said.
Earlier, Yalelo Limited director Fisho Mwale said the decision by the company to increase production has been reinforced by national encouragement for the development of the aquaculture sector, as seen from the creation of the new Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries as well as the growing momentum behind the Aquaculture Development Association of Zambia.
â€œYalelo is poised to be a major contributor to aquacultural production in Zambia. We have adhered strictly to good practices and environmental standards that are second to none in our first stages of development â€¦,â€ Mr Mwale said.
He said the company intends to start discussions with the community next week.
Mr Mwale is optimistic that the consultations with Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries and other local stakeholders will be finished on time to allow for the implementation of the project.
He said that Yalelo Limited is also continuing with plans for the development of a specialty aquafeeds mill which will complement the growing offerings from existing suppliers.
Similarly, Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Greyford Monde said it is Governmentâ€™s intention to promote large- and small-scale entrepreneurs in the sector.
â€œWe welcome this expansion program by Yalelo Limited to 30,000 metric tonnes in the near future. We are actively engaging ZEMA and other regulatory bodies so that their procedures are in harmony with accelerated investment in the aquaculture sector,â€ he said.
ESTHER MSETEKA, Lusaka