FoodTechAfrica Big Fish demonstration fish farm opening

In February 2020, the Ambassador Jeroen Verheul and the Deputy Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Hon. Abdallah Hamis Ulega officially opened the FoodTechAfrica Big Fish demonstration fish farm in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This demonstration fish farm showcases an integrated approach to fish farming, including innovative recirculation-based systems, improved genetics and high-quality construction materials. Furthermore, the demonstration farm will function as a training facility and “light-house” project for the wider aquaculture sector. Together with the opening, a fish farming workshop with five Dutch experts was held. In total, over two hundred  people visited the demonstration  farm in two days. The event was live broadcasted on national television.

The demonstration fish farm brings together a unique mix of Dutch and Tanzanian companies and public stakeholders. Through an integrated value chain approach, where key complementary actors from the entire value chain are brought together in a consortium, these consortium partners together develop the Tanzanian aquaculture sector. This is supported through the Impact Cluster instrument of RVO, which allows the consortium to demonstrate the business case in Tanzania of fish farming with improved farming practices, technology and inputs. Owned by the Tanzanian entrepreneur Abraham Mndeme, the demonstration fish farmed introduces new innovative technology and expertise on the Tanzanian market. At the opening, representatives of all Dutch companies in the FoodTechAfrica Tanzania consortium were present.

FoodTechAfrica Tanzania is a public-private partnership (Impact Cluster) composed of Holland Aqua, Viqon, Fishion, Genap, Til Aqua, Larive International, Lattice Consulting and the Dutch government.

The aquaculture industry in Tanzania has great potential, with its coastal regions having a near ideal climate for culturing tilapia. Demand for fish in the country is also booming. Population growth and rising incomes increase the demand for animal protein in the country, whereas supply from wild fisheries is under pressure. It is currently estimated that there is a need for an additional 480,000 tons of fish per year in the country, especially for lower and middle-income citizens. Market prices for fresh tilapia in Tanzania are high, being nearly double the price paid in the Netherlands for the same fish.

However, aquaculture in Tanzania is still mostly a small-scale activity and usually not practiced as a standalone economic activity. The current form of inefficient fish farming is often not profitable to farmers and places a high burden on the natural resources, both in water and land. In order to meet the demands of the future, a shift towards more efficient and sustainable production is needed.

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This project aims to facilitate this shift by demonstrating aquaculture best practices and training. As part of this training and knowledge transfer, a fish farming workshop was organized for 60 Tanzanian fish farmers the day after the opening. During this workshop, Dutch aquaculture experts gave trainings in Hatchery management and Biosecurity, Genetics, RAS farming and Marketing. This latter topic is crucial in Tanzania, as apart from challenges in the production of fish, local fish farmers often also lack business acumen skills such as sales or marketing. FoodTechAfrica therefore also developed a brochure for use by Tanzanian fish farmers to improve their business and marketing, available upon request.

The opening of the demonstration fish farm is part of a larger collaboration between the Netherlands and Tanzania on aquaculture development. On the 10th of July 2019, the Director General for Agro of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands Marjolijn Sonnema and the Deputy Minister for Livestock and Fisheries of Tanzania Hon. Abdallah Hamisi Ulega signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the development of the aquaculture sector of Tanzania. This Memorandum of Understanding is implemented through a bilateral aquaculture working group, in which public and private stakeholder through dialogue work together to overcome framework challenges to aquaculture development in the country.

Would you like to learn more about our FoodTechAfrica, or wish to visit the demonstration fish farm please check www.foodtechafrica.com. Do you have any other questions or requests on doing business in Tanzania? Please send an email to dar-lnv@minbuza.nl. We give regular updates on developments in the agriculture sector in Tanzania on this website and on our Twitter @NLAgriTanzania. If you would like to stay updated on events, financial instruments and developments in the agriculture sector please subscribe to our newsletter, by e-mailing us at  dar-lnv@minbuza.nl.