Market demand for fish is growing rapidly in Tanzania due to population growth and rising incomes. Currently, Tanzania has a demand deficit of 480,000 metric tons annually, presenting an economic opportunity to supply the market with locally farmed fish. However, fish farmers face high barriers to capitalizing on this opportunity, primarily due to the lack of access to reasonably priced, high-quality feed. Feed often accounts for 70 percent of farmer’s cost, and it is not uncommon for bagged feeds to be up to 0.3 percent gravel.
Fish farmers are suffering from predatory, harmful, and expensive feed options that unnecessarily inflate production costs and they are unable to cut costs in other areas. As an alternative, fish farmers formulate their own feed on-site in small batches. The use of this type of feed is nutritionally inadequate and causes stunted growth, making the culturing period to grow and sell fish too long. As a result, farmers lose a significant portion of their potential income from the sale of smaller or inferior fish. This perpetuates the gap in affordable and quality farmed fish for consumers to buy, which impacts the health and well-being of lower-income Tanzanian households.
NovFeed has developed proprietary technology that transforms organic waste to produce bacterial, single-cell, protein-based fish feed ingredients to replace fish and soybean meals, which are commonly used in feed formulation. NovFeed’s production process uses less land, less water, less energy and grows 300 percent faster than soy and fishmeal. These single-cell bacteria utilise organic waste as a source of carbon and energy, upcycling organic waste.
15 Tons of seafood saved from illegal fishing, overfishing, or unsustainable practices through NovFeed’s products.
By 2030, 189.1 million tonnes of fish will be produced in the world with two-thirds of that coming from aquaculture. The fish feed market will need to rise by 70 percent from current levels to meet the need caused by that level of production. Current fish feed has a high price tag resulting in high production costs. Currently, fish feed takes up 70 percent of farmers’ production costs. When breaking feed costs down into its components, 60 percent of that production cost is because of the protein component in fish feed. NovFeed’s high-protein ingredients have been tested extensively across a wide range of species including tilapia and catfish and the nutritional value of this protein is higher than super-prime fishmeal and soybean. NovFeed showed a higher growth rate of 40 percent more weight gain than current feed on the market and a 97 percent survival rate.
Recognized and received funding from Chemonics International at the 2019 UNLEASH Global Innovation Lab for Sustainable Development Goals.
Won the 2021 Impact Award from the GoGettaz Agripreneur Prize Competition.
Managing Director Diana Orembe was named a WFP-X innovator in the World Food Programme's first-ever exploration of moonshot innovation for urban food security in megacities.
Business expertise for scaling and refining NovFeed's solution, as well as possible licensing of technology to other companies globally.
Partnerships with biotechnology facilities, labs, and spaces to continue innovating and finding new bacterial varieties.
Partnerships with technical experts to expand the options of generating aquafeed from bacteria.