FMO supports the expansion of the fully integrated Yalelo Tilapia farm in Zambia with a USD 10.5 mln senior secured loan facility, partly funded by Building Prospects, a high impact fund, managed on behalf of the Dutch government. This transaction supports the production of affordable protein in a sustainable, innovative and profitable manner. Tilapia is one of the most efficient proteins (feed conversion ratio 1.4), meaning it has a much lower carbon footprint than other proteins such as beef, pork and even poultry. Yalelo has a positive impact on the local economy and job creation (it currently employs over 800 people) and is contributing to the development of the broader local aquaculture sector by providing smallholder tilapia farmers with inputs and training.
The aquaculture sector has a potential transformational effect for the availability and affordability of locally produced protein. Yalelo has the potential to become a large-scale regional player and prove that it is possible to profitably and sustainably run an aquaculture business in Africa by implementing world class farming operations and a data driven scientific approach. Moreover, the company is looking to become the first ASC certified fish farm in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer at FMO, said: “With this transaction FMO supports the creation of a leading regional aquaculture firm, boosting local-for-local production and affordability of protein. The development of the broader local aquaculture sector in Sub-Saharan Africa further enhances local job creation and food security.”
Tembwe Mutungu, Chief Financial Officer at Yalelo, said:“This investment from FMO will allow Yalelo to respond to the regional need for affordable, high-quality protein by more than doubling our capacity. We have a proven tilapia production model and a big ambition for growth. With this endorsement from FMO, we hope to accelerate our ability to meaningfully tackle the challenge of African protein food security.”
By investing in Yalelo, FMO catalyzes development of sustainable aquaculture producers that deliver affordable and low GHG emission animal protein for local consumers. Yalelo created 800+ jobs in the area, where few economic opportunities previously existed.
Another 200 jobs will be created through this investment. Over 30% of Yalelo’s management is female. The company focuses on continuous training of its employees, across all age groups. It also runs adult literacy classes for all willing local residents which increases level of their education and their employability and a school for local children.