Norwegian aquaculture feed company Skretting is expanding its operations in West Africa with the buy-out of a joint-venture partnership with Nigerian fish farming firm Durante Fish Industries.
The transaction, which was completed by Skretting’s parent company, Nutreco, was announced in an 10 April press release. Skretting launched the joint venture three years ago with Durante, which operates catfish and tilapia hatcheries and grow-out ponds in western Nigeria. In the past three years, the joint venture opened a new fish feed plant in Ibadan and expanded its feed exports across Africa.
“While Nigeria has endured some economic challenges in the last couple of years, we believe that with Skretting Nigeria becoming wholly-owned by Nutreco, the market will have the further reassurance that we are committed to the development of the Nigerian aquaculture industry,” Skretting Africa Managing Director Rob Kiers said in the release. “This is a very important stage in the development of Nigerian aquaculture. The industry’s strong entrepreneurial spirit and desire to succeed leads us to be very optimistic about its future.”
Kiers said the company decided to double down on its investment in Nigeria due to the country’s fast-growing population, which stands at 180 million, and the popularity of fish in the region. The Nigerian government also recently stepped up its support of the aquaculture industry by reducing imports of frozen fish, Kiers said.
“Together, these circumstances have encouraged farmers to both ramp up their production and also diversify from culturally important catfish farming into producing tilapia,” he said.
Skretting Nigeria General Manager Seyi Adeleke-Ige said the company has had a presence in Nigeria over the past dozen years. With the joint venture, the company increased its feed production five-fold to more than 20,000 metric tons, she said.
“To aid the West African country’s advancement, Skretting has built a strong foothold in the market over the last 12 years; principally by helping local producers overcome the industry’s major challenge of securing access to the high-quality feeds that will allow fish farmers fish to get their products to the size that consumers want,” Adeleke-Ige said. “Today, the market is growing quickly and that is attracting a lot of investors to the industry to further expand fish production. Together with the Nigerian government’s stated ambition for the country to be more self-sufficient in its fish consumption, Nigeria is perfectly placed to grow as an aquaculture nation.”
Moving forward as sole owner and operator of its Nigerian operations, Skretting is rolling out a new strategy focusing on growth through technical sales and support. The company is also planning to construct a new plant in the Ibadan region and opening an aquaculture training facility, focused on educating local producers with Skretting’s LifeStart concept, which focuses on specific hatchery and nursery nutrition for juvenile fish and broodstock, according to the company.
Worldwide, Skretting has production facilities in 19 countries on five continents, manufacturing and delivering fish feeds from hatching to harvest for more than 60 species, with a total production volume of more than two million metric tons.