Late last week the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries, Hon Ntiba Mitcheni, officially opened the Unga Farm Care (EA) Limited extruded fish feed production facility in Nairobi, Kenya, alongside the Board Chair of Unga Holdings Limited and His Excellency Frans Makken, the Netherlands Ambassador to Kenya.
Amidst the growing demand for fish protein to improve food security in East Africa, Unga Holdings Limited, manufacturer of human nutrition and animal nutrition products invested in the fish feed plant within the framework of the Dutch Public-Private Partnership program, FoodTechAfrica (FTA). Key project partners of this program include Nutreco/Skretting, Ottevanger Milling Engineers, Almex Extrusion and Larive International.
The feed plant is designed to produce high quality floating fish feed for fish farmers to increase their output and lower their production costs per kilogramme. The initiative is intended to enhance aquaculture ecosystems, create entrepreneurship opportunities and meet the escalating demand for fish protein among consumers in East Africa. The extruded pellets are manufactured and sized to offer the best in Quality and Nutritional Value whilst supporting optimum growth and development.
This is the first establishment of its size in East Africa, that will produce greatly needed high quality floating fish feed and eliminate the major obstacle to the growth of aquaculture in the region. The facility can produce 5,000 tonnes of high quality floating fish feed annually for the East African market.
According to Unga Holdings Limited Board Chair, Ms. Isabella Ochola Wilson, “In line with our Vision of “Nutrition for Life”, Unga has taken a bold step – investing, with the support of funding from the Dutch Government – Kshs. 225,000,000 in a state-of-the-art fish feed production facility to serve an aquaculture industry still in its infancy. Locally produced fish feed is a critical and essential building block to enabling the aquaculture sector to grow. It is the first facility of such size and technical capability in East Africa and also worth noting that it has been designed with the flexibility to double capacity within a very short timeframe.”
The floating pellets come in a four-part-offering from ‘starter’ to ‘finisher’ feeds based on the lifecycle of the Tilapia fish. They are easy to consume and provide key nutrients for growth, proper immune support and overall health of the fish. The supply gap for fish has been rapidly increasing due to the dwindling fish stocks in Lake Victoria caused by over-fishing, and the fast growing population is in need of affordable fish protein.