For decades the wild catch from Africa’s Great Lakes has been declining, with the result that local markets increasingly rely on imported frozen fish, often of low quality. This situation points to potential for the domestic production of affordable fish.
A company that has tapped into this opportunity is Victory Farms, an aquaculture company in Kenya founded in 2015. Victory Farms saw an opportunity to supply affordable protein to consumers in a more sustainable way by growing tilapia, a native species.
Today it operates as a vertically integrated business, with its own hatchery, nursery ponds and deep-water cages in Lake Victoria, plus a processing plant and a distribution network comprising 45 wholly-owned retail locations. Its direct customers are several thousand market women who buy fish in small batches from Victory Farms’ outlets, before cooking and selling them in local food markets.
Victory Farms recently received a multi-million-dollar mezzanine debt investment from AgDevCo.
“We see huge potential for East Africa’s nascent aquaculture industry to grow and develop in a sustainable way, which should help relieve pressure on wild fish stocks,” commented Chris Isaac, AgDevCo’s chief investment officer.
AgDevCo’s investment will support the company’s continued growth, including the construction of a feed mill and expansion into new countries in the East Africa region.