GHANA – Cycle Farms, a France based biotechnology firm, has inaugurated its first fish feed factory in Tema, Ghana, that will process insect meal protein-rich fish feed in a bid to boost aquaculture production in the country.

Cycle Farms will utilise the Black soldier fly (BSF) larva in the industrial-scale production of a complete feed for Ghana’s tilapia industry, supported by the group’s research on its viability as an alternative source of protein to fish meal for feed.

According to Marc-Antoine Luraschi, chief executive at Cycle Farms, the facility will aim at producing about 3500 tonnes of the feed in 2019 with prospects to scale up production as the market expands.

“The company hopes to move to other African countries to support aquaculture and poultry industries. Aquaculture is crucial to the African population’s nutrition.

“Fish production needs to be increased to meet domestic needs, and local production will save substantial amounts which are spent on imports. We want to lend a hand in this area,” Luraschi said.

Floran Laville, Chief Technical Officer, said that the company’s strategy is to focus on fingerlings feed production, but unveiled the possibility of providing specific products to meet the needs of a requesting client, reports The Fish Site.

“The company’s focus now is on the production of feed for fingerlings, because the ones of the market are mostly imported. We are producing high quality feed which will enable the fish to achieve optimum size and health.

This is crucial, if you want to harvest tilapia of high quality and size,” he said adding that the firm may venture into catfish and shrimp feed production as part of their production activities in the near future.

Cycle Farms Ghana (CFG) Sales and Business Developer Manager, Miss. Anaïs Legendre, said that the investment by Cycle Farms in Ghana fishing industry seeks to further boost the sector by providing more affordable and quality solutions.

“In addition to moderate feed prices, customers can expect high quality feed and support on farming needs.

Overall, our prices are moderate, especially when you take into consideration the protein content and the fresh nature of the feed. We are confident that our products will make a major impact on aquaculture production,” she said.

Speaking during the inauguration, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, hailed the investment adding that the firm should strive towards lowering of the 70% budget spent on feed as in order to maximise the potential of the aquaculture sector.

The firm will locally rare Black Soldier Fly larvae and in combination with other ingredients produce fish feed with 33 to 56% proteins.

According to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, a large proportion of aquaculture production in Africa is based on imported soya bean.

FAO proposes insect-based poultry and fish feed as the most sustainable means for the future.