Conservation International Ventures Supports Effort to Grow Local, Sustainable Food Production in Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya (April 23, 2020) – Conservation International Ventures, the impact-investing arm of Conservation International, recently disbursed financing to Victory Farms, a sustainable aquaculture business that produces tilapia on Lake Victoria and sells primarily to low-income neighborhoods across Kenya.
The US$ 500,000 loan, part of a larger round of investments that closed in 2019, will enable Victory Farms to grow its logistics and farm operations to reach its goal of producing 20 million meals across Kenya by the end of 2020.
Victory Farms, founded in 2015 and now sub-Saharan Africa’s fastest-growing fish farm, hopes to expand production to about 60,000 tonnes of tilapia over the next six years, a figure that would equal more than half of the wild catch in the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria.
“Our innovative technologies bring together the best aquaculture practices from around the globe to tackle the challenge of providing accessible, affordable and healthy protein to a rapidly growing population facing a dwindling supply of wild fish catch,” said Joseph Rehmann, Founder and CEO of Victory Farms.
Rehmann added that the impacts of the novel coronavirus pandemic bring to light the importance of elevating the issue of food security. Despite the current challenges, the company continues to expand into various markets across Kenya to ensure that fresh affordable tilapia is available to low-income communities.
“We need to localize supply chains and make them sustainable, rather than rely further on unsustainable globalized food,” Rehmann said. “We are grateful for the support of investors like Conservation International Ventures coming to the table during this challenging time to help make that happen.”
The company’s extensive measures to set new global standards for social and environmental best practices in tilapia farming align with Conservation International Venture’s mission to support businesses with positive environmental and social impact at the core of their value propositions.
Victory Farms is also one of the largest employers in Homa Bay County, with most staff hailing from communities surrounding the fish farms where job opportunities are otherwise scarce. The company continually invests in the technical and management skills of their 350 and growing full-time employees.
“Together, Conservation International and Victory Farms can work to ensure that adequate regulation and monitoring is introduced to this potentially transformative industry at an early-enough stage to prevent degradation of Lake Victoria’s ecosystems, all the while creating much-needed jobs and providing a critical food source to local communities,” said Agustin Silvani, Senior Vice President of Conservation Finance at Conservation International.
About Conservation International Ventures
Conservation International Ventures LLC is an impact-first investment fund that seeks to generate positive, quantifiable conservation outcomes alongside financial returns. The fund supports small and medium enterprises whose value propositions reinforce and enhance the value of natural capital, promote sustainable and regenerative food production, and advance nature-based solutions to environmental challenges in the regions where we invest. Conservation International Ventures is managed by Conservation International, a leading U.S.-based environmental conservation organization working in 30 countries around the world to empower societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet.
About Conservation International
Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. We work in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International’s work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.