What makes the Fisheries Sector in Tanzania one of the most interesting investment opportunities in Tanzania? Conditions are now right for foreign investors and foreign partners bringing in know-how, technology and capital.
Local production of fish is limited due to a combination of factors like under-developed deep sea fishing industry, a partly -developed fish farming industry and over-fishing in the in-land water bodies, especially Lake Victoria. Other challenges include limited fish processing facilities and limited access to fish feeds and fingerlings. These limitations have resulted in a significant rise in the importation of frozen fish to Tanzania however the government has addressed this by increasing the import duty of fish thus making the imported fish more expensive.
The consumption of fish in Tanzania is quite low at 5.5Kg / Capita / Year as compared to the world average is 18.1Kg / Capita / Year, which is still lower than Norway’s consumption per capita of 53.4Kg / Capita /Year. The price per kilogram of fish in Tanzania is between USD 5 and USD 6 for Tilapia, this is the most common type of fish in East Africa.
Tanzania has experienced a steady growth of the aquaculture subsector as seen from increase of fish farms from only one (1) in 2013 to 17 in 2016, all dealing with production of fingerlings (tilapia and catfish) and feeds. The fish farms produce about 15,000 metric tons of farmed fish and over 10,000,000 fingerlings annually. They target to produce over 100,000 metric tons by 2025.
Opportunity for Partnerships for Norwegian Companies in Aquaculture and Fisheries
The majority of the existing ponds/fish farms are open for foreign investments based on a joint venture model where the foreign partner brings in know-how, technology and capital and becomes a part owner of an existing operation. The alternative model is to develop a project from start and in this way be more independent of local partners.
There are ready opportunities for cage farming in Lake Victoria, the water rights for some of the optimal areas have been issued and are ready for use. The owners of the water rights are seeking for foreign investors with the relevant know how, experience and access to capital.
Other initiatives by the Tanzanian government include opening up Lake Victoria for cage farming as guided by the National Fishery Policy.
Norwegian Companies with relevant competences are encouraged to see the likely challenges in the aquaculture sector in Tanzania as opportunities.