Dutch Agro Investor, De Heus to Construct Fish Feed Plant

Animal feed and nutrition producer, De Heus has started construction of a fish feed plant in Uganda, with the hope that it will bring down the cost of aquaculture in the country.

The plant to be located in Njeru town, Bwikwe District is expected to be completed in a year, according to Bon Tjeenk Willink, De Heus Uganda General Manager.

Under the name Koudijs, the Dutch-based De Heus exports complete and supplemental feeds, concentrates, and premixes worldwide including in Uganda.

According to Willink, the new plant will, on completion be able to process 50,000 tons of fish feed per year, which, according to him will be a game changer in the supply stability and pricing of the input especially in the central region.

Uganda produces up to 15,000 tons of fish from aquaculture (marine farming), including production from small-scale fish farmers, emerging commercial fish farmers, and stocked community water reservoirs and minor lakes.

According to the National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS), there are an estimated 20,000 ponds throughout the country with an average surface area of 500 square meters per fish pond.

NAADS says that the aquaculture enterprise is still in its take-off stages despite it having existed for more than 60 years.

However, due to the recent increase in population and the high upshot of fish processing plants for export, the natural stocks have dwindled, giving an incentive to farming.

De Heus has now asked the government to fast-track the implementation of the incentives it has offered the company so that the facility commences production within a year as planned.

Willing says the plant could cost up to 20 million dollars (75 billion Shillings), adding that a government intervention would in the end lead to a lower cost of production and make it easy to compete for a similar project being established in Kenya at the same time.

The Dutch company support farmers in most countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and numerous countries in Western and Southern Europe and in South America, more than 75 countries in total.

They supply both small and large farmers, as well as other companies and dealers for poultry, pigs, ruminants, and aquaculture.

It promises to bring the experience and expertise from its global operations onto the Ugandan market, according to Theo Smalbraak, De Heus Business Group Director Africa & Middle East.

“We believe in the potential of Africa and that is why we are investing in expanding our footprint: in South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, and recently with modern factories in Ghana and Ivory Coast, and now in Uganda,” he said.

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