The Lake Harvest Group, which is a major tilapia producer in Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, has secured Aqua-Spark and Norfund as long-term investors. Lake Harvest, which was founded in 1997, has long been a pioneer in Sub-Saharan Africa, with operations in three countries and sales and distribution in seven.
According to Aqua-Spark, Lake Harvest Group is in a prime position for expansion as it has its own distribution network and processing plant, as well as a local workforce with decades of experience. In addition, the farm is mission-aligned, employing best practice such as employee education and training, as well as by-product sales, antibiotic-free operations and genetic enhancement.
“We are very pleased to welcome Aqua-Spark as a new investor. Their values and vision are aligned with the remaining shareholders. Aqua-Spark has a long-term investment approach towards sustainable aquaculture and, with its new fund, will focus on Africa in particular. We look forward to working with the Aqua-Spark team and benefitting from both their knowledge and their ecosystem of sustainable aquaculture companies,” said James de la Fargue, CEO of Lake Harvest via a statement.
Aqua-Spark is introducing a subsidiary fund aimed at developing infrastructure through vertically integrated farming platforms that support and encourage outgrower programmes, igniting the expansion of the aquaculture sector as a whole and integrating it in local and regional African economies.
Lake Harvest will serve as one of the primary platforms that Aqua-Spark Africa will assist to establish, in addition to Aqua-Spark’s existing investments in Africa and future farming projects. The company is already well-established on a large scale, which will help the fund achieve its Aqua-Spark Africa objectives faster.
Lake Harvest’s areas of operation include:
Lake Harvest Aquaculture (LHA) at Kariba, Zimbabwe
LHA was founded in 1997 with the goal of supplying fresh fillets to the European market. Harvest quantities have increased to the point that they can now produce up to 9000 tons per year, but they currently supply regional markets with fresh whole round, fresh and frozen gutted, and fillets. LHA is a fully integrated fish farm with its own hatchery, which collects 2.5 million eggs each week to be developed into fingerlings for LHA cage operations and third-party sales. Cage activities are based on seven sites on Lake Kariba, each two kilometers offshore, with 20 cages holding a total of 2 000 tons of fish biomass at any given time.
Kariba Harvest Limited (KHL), at Siavonga, Zambia
This fish farm, located in Zambia near Siavonga on Lake Kariba and 15 km from Lake Harvest Aquaculture, was founded in 2012 and has grown to a 2 000-ton annual harvest, focusing on fresh entire round for the Zambian market. The feed comes from a joint venture feed mill in Skretting Zambia’s Siavonga. This feed mill, which was commissioned in June 2017 and has a feed capacity of 30 000 tons, is a collaboration with Nutreco.
Source of the Nile, Jinja (SON) at Lake Victoria, Uganda
The company operates a hatchery operation producing fingerlings for its own use near the Nile’s source near Jinja, Uganda, on Lake Victoria. Lake Harvest could be able to help small farmers sell their fish. In 2017, SON harvested 1000 tons of fresh whole round for sale in Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda, with forecasts for 2018 of 1 200 t/pa of fresh whole round for sale in Kenya, Uganda, the DRC, and Rwanda. SON has 103 employees.