KENYA – Kenya’s aquaculture sector is set for expansion as the government grants an operating permit to Victory Farms, a leading aquaculture company specializing in tilapia production.

The development aims to boost local fish production and reduce Kenya’s heavy reliance on fish imports, which currently account for 70% of the country’s fish needs.

Victory Farms has received approval to expand its commercial activities on Lake Victoria, located in Homa Bay County.

The decision to grant this permit comes after a positive environmental assessment report of the project, demonstrating the government’s commitment to supporting private operators in the aquaculture sector and enhancing local fish production.

President William Ruto has expressed the government’s support for Victory Farms’ expansion and its role in increasing fish supply in the region.

He mentioned plans to provide 7 million fingerlings to help repopulate Lake Victoria over the next nine months.

“Over the next nine months, we will help Victory Farms repopulate Lake Victoria. The government will provide 7 million fingerlings to support fish production in the lake,” President William Ruto said.

Caesar Asiyo, the General Manager of Victory Farms, emphasized the importance of these efforts to ensure a steady supply of fish to the local market.

“We have already restocked the lake with more than 4,000 tilapia fry. The identified breeding sites are protected to encourage the proliferation of fish in the lake,” Caesar Asiyo, general manager of Victory Farms explained.

Victory Farms, established in 2016, currently supplies less than 10,000 tonnes of fish annually to Kenya. To achieve consistent fish production, the company employs various aquaculture practices, including floating cages and the recirculating aquaculture system (RAS).

In a significant boost to the aquaculture platform, Victory Farms received a substantial investment of Sh4.7 billion (approximately $35 million) earlier this year from venture capital (VC) investors.

The funds were raised by investors led by Creadev, a global VC and growth equity evergreen investor, and enabled the company to create more jobs, grow enterprises in the supply chain and offer nutritious meals across the region.

“The Series B investment will enable Victory Farms to scale up our platform for sustainable, affordable protein production and expand our food print within the region,” Victory Farms founder and chief executive Joseph Rehmann said.

Other investors included Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund, DOB Equity, Endeavor Catalyst Fund and Hesabu Capital.