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Amidst the growing demand for fish protein to improve food security in East Africa, Unga Holdings Limited (UHL), a manufacturer of human nutrition and animal nutrition products, has invested in an extruded fish feed plant within the framework of the Dutch Public-Private Partnership program, FoodTechAfrica (FTA). The project, envisioned in a meeting between FTA and UHL on 9th June, 2013, received a significant grant from the Dutch Government and incorporated a number of other partners including Nutreco/Skretting, Ottevanger Milling Engineers, Almex Extrusion and Larive International.

The FoodTechAfrica initiative is intended to enhance aquaculture ecosystems, create entrepreneurship opportunities and meet the escalating demand for fish protein among consumers in East Africa. The extruded pellets will be manufactured and sized to offer the best in quality and nutritional value whilst supporting optimum fish growth and development. The facility, the first of its size and sophistication in East Africa, will be able to produce 5,000 tonnes of high quality extruded fish feed annually for the regional market.

The floating pellets come in a four-part-offering from ‘starter’ to ‘finisher’ based on the lifecycle of the tilapia. Formulations are provided by Nutreco/Skretting and utilize the latest research on feeding what is the largest farmed fish species in the region. They are easy to consume and provide key nutrients for growth, proper immune support and overall health of the fish. With time, the plant will also produce a range of pellets targeted at the smaller catfish market. The supply gap for fish to East Africa has been rapidly increasing due to the dwindling fish stocks in Lake Victoria caused by overfishing, and the fast growing population is in need of affordable fish protein.

The mill was designed by Ottevanger Milling Engineers from the Netherlands. The equipment was installed in an unused maize mill building, refurbished to meet the design criteria from Ottevanger. The equipment specifications for the automated plant, which includes a hammer mill, single shaft ribbon mixer, continuous flow conditioner, extruder, vertical drier, cooler and pellet coating system, can be obtained from Bob Thieme, UHL’s Group Operations Manager.

The Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Willy K. Bett, EGH, represented by his Principal Secretary, State Department for Fisheries and the Blue Economy, officially opened the Unga Farm Care (EA) Limited extruded fish feed production facility on the 16th March, 2017 in Nairobi alongside the Board Chair of Unga Holdings Limited and His Excellency Frans Makken, the Netherlands Ambassador to Kenya.