Zambia eyes neighbours for increased fish exports

Zambia is looking at increasing regional tilapia exports.

A Lusaka-based tilapia producer is looking at expanding output and increasing exports to South Africa and other SADC countries after Dutch development bank FMO granted it a loan for $10.5 million.

Thus far Yalelo, the aquaculture company that farms fish in Lake Kariba, has mainly focused on delivering around 1000 metric tonnes of the freshwater fish to markets in Zambia.

However, Zambia can only handle about 180 000 thousand tonnes of tilapia a year while Yalelo’s parent company, FirstWave Group, believes there is significant scope for increased supply and market development in nearby regional markets.

Yalelo has also indicated that it is well positioned to lift its production by 1 600 tonnes a month and, with the FMO loan in place, is hoping to grow sales by 7 000 tonnes a year.

Apart from South Africa, Yalelo is also said to be concentrating on exporting tilapia to Kenya, Malawi and Congolese markets.

FirstWave CEO Adam Taylor said the loan would enable Yalelo to push production volumes whilst simultaneously extending its processing and retail footprint.

He was quoted as saying: “There are a lot of things that were simple with a handful of retail shops; however, now that we operate 50, growing towards 100, it’s a sizeable business in itself and one of the larger cold-chain footprints in East Africa.”



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