Aqua-Spark and NORFUND invest in Sub-Saharan African tilapia operation
Lake Harvest Group raised USD 7 million to grow its tilapia operations in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda and will also accelerate Aqua-Spark’s Africa Fund.
Lake Harvest Group, one of the largest integrated aquaculture companies in Sub-Saharan Africa, has attracted Aqua-Spark as a new cornerstone investor. Aqua-Spark, together with NORFUND, the Norwegian investment fund strengthening the private sector in developing countries, are investing USD 7 million in the growth of Lake Harvest’s tilapia operations in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Uganda.
Established in 1997, 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. In addition, the farm is mission-aligned, adopting best practices that include education and training programs for staff as well as the sale of byproducts, antibiotic-free operations, and genetic improvement.
James de la Fargue, CEO Lake Harvest, said “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.”
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.
Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founder and managing partner Aqua-Spark, said, “we are excited to welcome Lake Harvest to our investment portfolio. Lake Harvest is a well-established brand for African tilapia with strong footholds in various countries across Eastern and Southern Africa. Aqua-Spark's investment model is an ecosystem in which our investments contribute collectively towards a more sustainable and accessible aquaculture industry. 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.”