The feed company has also entered into a five year research partnership with fish research institute WorldFish, a research institute that focuses on reducing poverty and hunger by improving fisheries and aquaculture. The partnership will focus on tilapia nutrition and testing of new, local ingredients for fish feed. The construction of an advanced trial unit with a recirculation system is part of the partnership.
Egypt is the world’s second largest producer of tilapia and production is expected to grow further from 1.3 million tonnes in 2014 to 2 million tonnes in 2020. Over 580,000 people are employed in aquaculture, more than in the rest of Africa combined.
The extra capacity allows Skretting to better serve the Egyptian tilapia sector with high quality fish feed, as well as technical expertise and support. Tilapia farmers are professionalising at a rapid pace, thus increasing demand for extruded fish feed. Compared to pelleted feed, says Skretting, extruded fish feed has the benefit that more of the feed is actually digested, which results in more resource efficient tilapia production and less pollution.
Harm de Wildt, Managing Director for Nutreco´s operations in EMEA, said: “This investment underscores our commitment to the African market. Through the investment in extruded fish feed capacity and regional R&D, we can support more customers in increasing their efficiency and profitability. Equally important, it will accelerate the transfer of our knowledge acquired in other fish species to tilapia, thus contributing to the sustainable development of aquaculture in Egypt.
More than half of the projected global population growth in the coming decades will take place in Africa. The continent will have added 1.3 billion people by 2050, roughly equivalent to the current population of China. The investment is a next step in Nutreco’s ambition to expand in Africa.