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Aquaculture investment fund Aqua-Spark has announced plans to invest in catfish-producing companies in sub-Saharan-African markets as part of its strategy to support the growth of the region’s aquaculture industry.
In a statement Aqua-Spark said it is seeking to invest in large-scale producers that could become platforms for growth for the broader aquaculture industry through local outgrower programs.
“Both in Nigeria as well as in other countries such as Ghana, we’re already on the lookout for catfish producers that can take on this role and need investment to grow,” the Netherlands-based Aqua-Spark said.
Aqua-Spark said it is seeking large aquaculture producers that have the capacity to supply initial resources to small- and medium-sized entrepreneurial aquaculture farms, and then to buy back what those farms produce. That, according to Aqua-Spark, would support “successful growth of the fish, but also the processing into value-added products and the development of a larger market for the catfish products.”
“We hope that these companies become vertically integrated production hubs to provide smaller farmers with access to inputs, knowledge, and markets, and maybe even facilitate financing,” Aqua-Spark said.
Aqua-Spark said for catfish production to grow in sub-Saharan Africa, there needs to be more effort to encourage “consumer acceptance” of catfish as a source of protein.
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