From left: GenoMar business development manager Ricardo Neukirchner; GenoMar Genetics Group CEO Alejandro Alvarez; Sanmarino managing director German Galvis; and Italco commercial director aquaculture Carlos Espejo. Photo: GenoMar.

Tilapia genetics firm GenoMar moves into Colombia

Norway-based tilapia breeding specialist GenoMar Genetics AS has signed a joint venture agreement with Agroavícola Sanmarino S.A., a Colombian poultry genetics distribution company belonging to the Italcol group.

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The agreement includes the establishment of a new company in the next few weeks, named GenoMar Genetics Colombia. The joint venture, which already has secured a quarantine and parent stock farm, will distribute tilapia genetics in the form of fingerlings and juveniles from a high-quality biosecured land-based facility in Colombia’s Huila province.

“We expect to have the first products in the market during Q4, 2022,” said Martin Cordero, the newly appointed general manager for the joint venture, in a press release.

Supply security

GenoMar Genetics Group chief executive Alejandro Tola Alvarez said the moved marked an important milestone in the company’s expansion strategy.

“Colombia is the second to third largest tilapia producer in Latin America and has a very export-oriented value chain that professionalises quickly,” said Alvarez. “Both companies have worked hard and patiently over several years with the vision of bringing genetic innovations and supply security to the Colombian tilapia industry.”

GenoMar got export authorisations for its genetic material from ICA – Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario, the competent authority in Colombia – earlier this year.

Parent stock

Under the agreement, GenoMar will supply the entire parent stock requirement from its breeding operations in Asia and/or Brazil. It will provide effective support in the day-to-day management of production and distribution using its existing global and Brazilian platforms.

GenoMar said Sanmarino/Italcol will play an important role in supporting commercialisation and data collection of the tilapia performance delivered to the Colombian industry.

New choices

“We are very happy to have partnered with GenoMar to bring superior genetic material and new choices to the fast-growing tilapia industry in Colombia,” said Agroavícola Sanmarino managing director German Galvis.

“We have no doubts that tilapia will follow a similar path as poultry, where genetics innovation and distribution, carried out by highly specialised companies are transforming the industry year by year. This allows higher efficiencies in production and sharing best practice methods.”

GenoMar is owned by the German EW Group, which also owns salmon genetics company AquaGen and the world’s largest poultry genetics company, Aviagen.