Danes lead scramble for Africa
The Danish feed producer Aller Aqua Group has announced plans to build a new feed mill in Zambia, to cater for the country’s burgeoning tilapia industry, just a year after the company’s new factory in Egypt was inaugurated.
Impetus for the project has been added by the decision of a local fish farmer, Yalelo Limited, to increase its tilapia production to 20,000-30,000 tonnes within the next few years.
The $10m factory will be the largest of its kind in Africa, with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes of feed per year, explains Henrik Halken, Group Vice President, who is responsible for Aller’s activities on the African continent.
Both companies see great prospects in the collaboration – Yalelo will be assured access to the best feed on the market, offering Aller Aqua Group, commercial security.
The fish feed factory gives Aller Aqua a great basis for expansion in Zambia, a country which aims to be self-sufficient with farmed fish. It should also allow them to export to neighbouring countries such as Angola, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Tanzania and Congo.
“The factory will be situated near the town Siavonga, on the shore of Lake Kariba, and is expected to be ready mid-2017, provided that the final commitments and permits are given from various authorities and institutions as expected,” says Halken.
He adds: “With the great potential in Africa it is important that we are present. Aller Aqua needs to make the most of the momentum we have created over the last few years. We have experienced significant growth in Egypt in 2015 and created two new sales subsidiaries in both Kenya and Nigeria, both of which contribute positively to the company’s growth. The feed for these two markets comes from our European factories and contribute positively here. In Zambia and the region we plan to replicate our experience of supporting smallholder fish farmers through training in the use of more efficient commercial fish feeds.
“With the new factory in Zambia Aller Aqua Group will consolidate its position as the largest producer of environmentally friendly extruded fish feed in Africa.”
Since Aller Aqua began producing fish feed 50 years ago, it has experienced constant growth. Besides the factory in Christiansfeld, a factory was built in Poland in 2001, in Germany in 2007 and the new factory in Egypt was inaugurated in 2015.
Hans-Erik Bylling, majority shareholder and CEO in Aller Aqua Group explains: “The company today export fish feed for approximately 50 countries worldwide.
“We recently launched a new growth strategy in Aller Aqua, which should form the basis of further growth in the coming years – investments in new factories in growing markets are a big part of this strategy.
“Therefore we have started excavation works for a new factory in Qingdao, China, which should be ready late 2016.”