Transforming the aquaculture industry in sub-Saharan Africa
Not that long ago, food supplies in Zambia floundered due to overfishing of inland waters.
So much so that in 2014, the sub-Saharan country only produced half of the fish required to feed its growing population. The remaining 80,000 tons of fish consumption had to be imported.
Aquaculture in the Zambian lakes plays an important role in satisfying vital food demand in the country. Although this sector is still nascent, several hurdles have been encountered. It has proven difficult to build a consistently profitable aquaculture enterprise on a large scale (over 10,000 tons per year).
Due to diseases, environmental risks and the difficulty to get farm management right, aquaculture is considered a risky sector. Failed investments in the past have resulted in many commercial banks shying away from investing.
However, with its ability to structurally transform food supply in Zambia, fish farming can provide sustainable and healthy sources of protein with lower carbon footprints than meat or poultry. Tilapia is one such example.