Olam International Ltd is on the verge of expanding its Agric business on the continent with the planned investment into fish farming in Nigeria and other African countries. Chief Operating Officer, Olam International, Shekhar Anantharaman, revealed this during an interview.
Why Olam is going into Fish Farming
The new expansion drive is aimed at taking an advantage of increasing demand for fish protein and growing population on the continent. Nigeria currently imports $125million worth fishery products yearly from Norway.
He also revealed that fish farming is part of Olam’s plans to target Africa’s growing middle class, and as wealth on the continent expands, and consumers on the continent may add more protein to their diets.
In his words:
“We believe that there’s an opportunity for fish farming in Africa, today a lot of the fish is imported. We think there’s a lot of potentials to grow it and make it far more easily available and at a cheaper cost to the general population.”
Recall that the Singapore-based firm had recently invested $150 million worth animal-feed mills and poultry farms in Nigeria. The Feeds produced are estimated to support the production of 8 billion eggs and 100-million kilograms of poultry a year.The new facilities located in Kaduna and Kwara states have the capacity for 360,000 metric tonnes of feed per annum.
In recent times several Nigerian companies have increased their investment in agriculture with Presco Plc and PZ Wilmar expanding their palm-oil output, while Dangote Group, controlled by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, plans to invest $3.8 billion in sugar and $450 million in dairy products over the next three years.
Olam started operation in Nigeria in 1989 with purchases of cashew nuts, cocoa, and shea nuts, and is now one of the world’s largest food traders with its presence in 70 countries. Last year, 16 percent of its revenue of $20.6 billion came from Africa, led by Nigeria. It is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange SGX and currently trades at 2.34 SGD. In 2016, Fortune magazine recognized Olam at number 23 in its ‘Change the World’ list.