ZIMBABWE – Lake Harvest Group, one of the largest integrated aquaculture companies in Sub Saharan Africa, is set to benefit from a US$7m investment in growth of its operations in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda from Aqua-Spark and Norfund.

Established in 1997, in the fresh waters of Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe, Lake Harvest is a long-time leader in Sub Saharan Africa with operations in three countries and a sales and distribution presence in seven countries.

With its own distribution network and processing plant as well as a locally embedded team with decades of experience, Lake Harvest is well-positioned for growth.

The farm is mission-aligned—adopting best practices that include education and training programs for staff as well as the sale of by products, antibiotic-free operations, and genetic improvement.

In addition to the financial backing, the fish distributor has attracted Aqua-Spark, the pioneer fund for sustainable aquaculture, as a new cornerstone investor.

With this investment, the fund joins African Century Group and Norfund as shareholders of Lake Harvest.

Following its gain of long-term investors, African Development Bank has ceased its shareholding in the company.

“We are very pleased to welcome Aqua-Spark as a new investor. Their values and vision are aligned with the remaining shareholders.

“Aqua-Spark has a long-term investment approach towards sustainable aquaculture and, with its new fund, will focus on Africa in particular.

“We look forward to working with the Aqua-Spark team and benefitting from both their knowledge and their ecosystem of sustainable aquaculture companies,” said James de la Fargue, CEO Lake Harvest.

Aqua-Spark to offer a myriad of support

According to the company, Aqua-Spark is launching a subsidiary fund focused on building infrastructure through vertically integrated farming platforms that support and stimulate out-grower programs to ignite the growth of a wider aquaculture sector, embedding it in local and regional African economies.

Together with Aqua-Spark’s existing investments in Africa and farming investments still to come, Lake Harvest will function as one of the key platforms that Aqua-Spark Africa will help build.

Lake Harvest is already established at a significant scale, which will accelerate the fund reaching its goals of Aqua-Spark Africa.

“We are excited to welcome Lake Harvest to our investment portfolio. We see ourselves as a committed partner and look forward to contributing to the future success of Lake Harvest and its people as well as the sustainable African aquaculture sector in general,” Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founder and managing partner Aqua-Spark said.

Aqua-Spark’s investment model is an ecosystem in which its company portfolios contribute collectively towards a more sustainable and accessible aquaculture industry.

The fund invests in aquaculture companies across the value chain—spanning farming operations, alternative feed ingredients, disease-battling technology, and consumer-facing aquaculture products.

In its latest report titled, An Introduction to Tilapia in Sub-Saharan Africa, Aqua-Spark has revealed that aquaculture has immense potential for growth.

Africa’s population is expected to balloon from 1 billion in 2021 to 2 billion by 2050. As a result, the demand for fish will exceed the current 10 million metric tons (MT) and by 2050 could reach between 16 to 29 million MT per year.

Wild catch can’t be increased due to overexploitation, meaning that aquaculture production must accelerate to meet the growing need for protein.

According to Aqua-Spark’s analysis, tilapia could be the best solution, as it’s scalable, healthy, sustainable and affordable.

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