The agreement will enable Acceso El Salvador to supply Salvadoran tilapia farmers with high quality tilapia fingerlings, featuring the latest and improved genetics from the Benchmark’s tilapia breeding program.
Spring Genetics, a leading tilapia breeder based in Miami, is dedicated to the genetic improvement of Nile tilapia. Their strain is marketed under the Spring Tilapia brand, which has been selected over 19 generations for key commercial traits such as fast growth, survivability, disease resistance and fillet yield. It is also the only tilapia strain with improved resistance to Streptococcus agalactiae and Streptococcus iniae. Acceso El Salvador, built by the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP), sources tilapia, other fish and seafood, as well as fruits and vegetables, from smallholders.
The new partnership meets a growing need in El Salvador for high-quality fingerlings, where the country’s rapid growth in tilapia production is fueled by increasing market demand. However, according to Acceso El Salvador, this accelerated increase has not occurred in a technologically advanced manner, and small and medium-scale producers suffer from various issues affecting productivity, including quality of fingerlings, production capacity and diseases. Additionally, the current tilapia value chain is extremely fragmented with several levels of intermediation, meaning that producers typically earn less than 25 percent of the final product value.
Acceso El Salvador looks to solve these issues by working along the entire tilapia value chain from providing quality fish inputs – through its partnership with Guatemalan company ARECA which implements Best Aquaculture Practices – to increasing tilapia fillet sizes, to ensuring the freshness and quality of fish delivered to supermarkets. Acceso El Salvador is also planning to soon build a new fish processing plant that will include a modern bio-secure fingerling hatchery and expand its tilapia processing capacity.