Spring Genetics inks deal with Africa's largest integrated tilapia producer
The agreement secures Lake Harvest exclusive supply of high performing Nile tilapia broodstock and a license to produce and sell sex-reversed fingerlings to third party farms in the region.
Spring Genetics, Benchmark’s tilapia genetics business, signed a five-year broodstock agreement with Africa’s leading tilapia producer, Lake Harvest Group.
Tilapia production in Africa is growing and the continent is currently producing around 950,000 tons per year, which is expected to grow by 5–6% between 2017 and 2022. “The annual production of tilapia in Africa is close to one million tons, mostly from Egypt. The regions south of the Sahara hold huge potential to increase production, and we need a fast-growing, robust and disease-resistant stock to succeed,” said Alfred Kadzomba, technical director of Lake Harvest.
The agreement secures Lake Harvest exclusive supply of high performing Nile tilapia broodstock from Spring Genetics’ advanced selection program in the USA to its commercial operations in Zambia and Zimbabwe and a license to produce and sell sex-reversed fingerlings to third party farms in this region.
“We are very pleased to sign our first broodstock contract in Africa to support the sustainable growth of the tilapia industry in the region,” said Hideyoshi Segovia, commercial and operations manager of Spring Genetics. “Spring Genetics manages the most advanced breeding program for tilapia in the world and has pioneered the selection for improved resistance to key pathogens like Streptococcus and Francisella. We have a strong footprint in the Latin American market and we look forward to supplying the African industry with our superior performing stock that will be adapted to local production conditions. This is a result of 10 years of genetic work,” Hideyoshi added.
Lake Harvest was granted import licenses in August this year, and the first shipment from the U.S. is scheduled for October. The imported fish will first enter a dedicated quarantine facility and extensively health screened before introduced to Lake Harvest’s farming operations in Lake Kariba.
“The signing of this contract is an important step in the execution of our growth strategy,” said Kadzomba. “Genetics is an important starting point in production to help us optimize production potential, as well as improve animal health and welfare. We’re looking forward to working with the Spring Genetics team and receiving the first supply of their latest generation broodstock to ensure continuous improvements and advances in our stock.”