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A tilapia farm in Zambia. Library photo: Skretting.
A tilapia farm in Zambia. Library photo: Skretting.

Sustainable aquaculture investor Aqua-Spark is planning a $300 million fund to finance developments in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Aqua-Spark Africa Fund, which will be launched before the end of the year, will initially close at $50m and will grow to $300m over the next 6-8 years, Aqua-Spark wrrites in a report on tilapia opportunities in the region.

The 92-page report is the first in the company’s Aqua Insights Report Series, which aims to provide investors and others with an introduction to different segments and geographies of the aquaculture industry.

Tilapia’s role

The tilapia report addresses why and how farmed tilapia can and should play an important role in solving sub-Saharan Africa’s challenge to produce sufficient food for its growing population.

“We provide you with an overview of the current geography of tilapia production, the producers involved, and the various segments of the supply chain (including feed and feed ingredients, genetics and hatcheries, health, aquatech, and marketing and distribution), as well as insights into the challenges that the sector is confronted with, and an overview of the investment opportunities and the existing investment landscape,” write editor-in-chief Willem van der Pijl and Aqua-Spark managing partners Amy Novogratz and Mike Velings in the document’s preface.

Scalable, healthy and affordable

The first $50m of the Africa fund will kick-start the first phase of development. The most fundamental investments will be made so as to further develop the framework for growth of sub-Saharan Africa’s aquaculture sector, say the authors. The Aqua-Spark Africa Fund focuses on the entire aquaculture sector, but the report concentrates on tilapia because of its potential to help feed a population that will double to 2 billion by 2050.

“Even if alternative proteins start playing a larger role, we at Aqua-Spark believe that aquaculture production will have to accelerate. We’ve identified tilapia to be the fish to do so: it’s scalable and it’s healthy, sustainable, and affordable,” write the report’s authors.

Visit the Aqua-Spark website to download the tilpia report.