USA – American agribusiness giant Cargill has inaugurated a new production facility for shrimp feed, with more than US$65 million investment in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

According to Cargill, the new feed plant creates 150 new jobs and 500 related positions for local economy, improves aquaculture nutrition technology and services for the region.

Described as the ‘world’s most modern shrimp plant’, it will produce 165,000 tons per year, around 20% of the 800,000 tons of feed that the Ecuadorian market demands currently.

“The plant we are opening today offers the most leading-edge technology currently available for the production of shrimp feed,” said Ángel Gómez, General Director Cargill Aqua Nutrition for Latin America North.

“This helps Cargill deliver on its promise of guaranteeing the best production and service to our customers.”

“Cargill’s investment in Ecuador also allows us to help the country and its people thrive through the production of goods and services,” added Gómez.

“Today we are showing our commitment to supporting the development of Ecuador’s shrimp industry by maximizing the country’s export potential.”

Two lines of shrimp feed will be produced at the Guayaquil site that will be sold under the Purina and Aquaxcel brands.

The global production of farmed shrimp in 2017 was estimated between 2.9–3.5 million tonnes, with nearly 75 to 80% of the production originating from Asia-Pacific, according to FAO.

Ecuador was mentioned among the main producers in Latin America with Mexico and Brazil, all generating more than a total of 700 000 tonnes.

For more than 50 years Cargill has been involved in global feed production, with its operations spread across 40 countries worldwide.

Other large feed firms are also investing in new lines or plants in Ecuador.

Feed producer BioMar Group recently said that it is adding a fifth production line at shrimp feed producer Alimentsa in Ecuador, which it bought last year in a deal worth US$70m.