Fast-growing tilapia farmer Victory Farms is planning to double the size of its Kenya hatchery in 2019, making it the largest such sub-Saharan facility.
At present, it is Kenya\'s largest hatchery, at a capacity of 5,000 metric tons. The 10,000t of fingerlings produced by the new unit will be complemented by new broodstock ponds which were dug earlier in 2018, and which are intended to operate this summer, said Joseph Rehmann, CEO of Victory Farms, at the recent AquaVision conference.
Looking wider, Rehmann said there was scope for his firm\'s model to be scaled up across the east African equatorial belt, which could mean production capacity of 1 million metric tons – or 20% of the global market.
In 2017 Victory Farms sold 170t of tilapia, which it equates to 340,000 high protein meals. In 2018 it estimates selling 1,200t, with these fish already in the water.
Victory Farms has passed up the opportunity to sell to retail chains, instead of establishing its sales network within low-income neighborhoods. It has more than 2,000 “market women” selling tilapia essentially in city slums – including Kibera, Nairobi, the largest urban slum in Africa.
It manages its own broodstock and water quality control, and the cold chain and logistics; the only part of the chain in which Victory Farms has third-party support is in genetics, where the UK\'s Stirling University works with it.
It is also now developing its own feed supply and ingredient inputs into that, Rehmann noted.
Source: Undercurrent News // Original Article