Aquaculture Impact Cluster Rwanda
In the beginning of September the agricultural team of the embassies in Rwanda and Uganda visited the construction site of a demonstration fish farm that is being built next to Akagera National Park in Rwanda.
This project is a joint venture between Akagera Management Company (African Parks) and FoodTechAfrica, and aims to empower the aquaculture sector of Rwanda and contribute to the long term sustainability of Akagera National Park. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a co-funding partner to the project by providing the RVO tool ‘Impact cluster financing’ available for consortia of companies that jointly work on sector development.
About the Aquaculture Impact Cluster
FoodTechAfrica Rwanda is an initiative of a consortium of Dutch and Rwandan companies that will tackle challenges of the aquaculture sector and contribute to local private sector development in East Rwanda.
This projects aims to:
- Establish a commercially viable demo farm in East Rwanda, producing fish locally for the local market.
- Demonstrate best practices: introduce, demonstrate and train best farming practices within the country.
- Transfer expertise and capacity building: build a team of highly trained staff who are able to run the farm from scratch and transfer knowledge and skills to other fish farmers.
- Develop the value chain: develop a local value chain for locally produced fish in Rwanda and position Dutch technology and expertise.
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The demonstration Fish Farm
During the visit to the fish farm the Akagera team took the visitors on a tour around the area. The construction of the outer buildings, where the fish tanks will be placed is ongoing, and expected to be ready by the end of November 2021. Next, the installation of the specialized fish farming equipment and the solar power installation will start.
The Akagera team showed the agricultural team one of the community ponds, where they work closely with a local cooperative to establish sustainable fishing, and agriculture around the lake. At the community center the team saw the vegetable garden, chicken farm, and bee hives, that helps the community to realize alternative income. This has proven to be especially important during the COVID pandemic, when tourism income from community tour guiding was low.
Plans for the coming year
The official opening for the demonstration fish farm is scheduled for April/May 2022. In the meantime a study will be executed by the Cluster to assess the financial options available for financing aquaculture investment, ranging from financing working capital, investment and large funding. The study will also map the players active in aquaculture financing in Rwanda and is to engage with financial players in the industry to improve awareness on aquaculture as a business.
The Netherlands and Aquaculture
The Netherlands has a strong reputation in terms of innovativeness and sustainability in the international aquaculture sector, being home to some of the leading worldwide aquafeed producers and many highly innovative companies in the field of sustainable aquaculture production systems and genetics. The Dutch recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) are world-renowned for their efficiency and profitability.
The Impact Cluster consists of companies from the Netherlands and Rwanda, being VIQON, Til-Aqua, Claresse Visverwerking, Independent Energy, Lakeside Fish Farm, Lattice Consulting and Larive International.