Akin-Sateru Farms last week held the official commissioning ceremony for the opening of their floating fish feed extrusion plant in Lagos.
The floating fish feed production plant has the capacity to produce 12 tonnes of extruded floating fish feed, and the mill will supplying local farmers who up until now had to rely on importing extruded fish feed into the country.
Speaking about the new plant at the commissioning, chairman of Akin-Sateru Farms, Oba Adetunji Akinloye, said that the new feed plant would help to reduce one of the biggest burdens on fish farmers in the country (the high cost of imported feeds), and encourage more companies to invest in the sub-sector.
"It is on record that Nigeria still spends about N80 billion per annum on fish import into the country. With the reduction in the available open captured fish, it has become imperative that fish farming be taken as serious business," Akinloye said.
The extrusion plant was installed in 2010, with feed equipment being supplied by UK firm Alvan Blanch and floating fish feed extrusion equipment coming from US company Insta-Pro International.
"We entered into discussions with Insta-Pro and with series of communications, culminating into a visit of Mr. Karl Arnold, vice president of the company, as well as subsequent visits to USA and Mexico, we purchased a comprehensive plant for the production of the floating fish feed in 2010," Akinloye said.
He continued saying, "We have taken another stride forward by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Insta-Pro Engineering USA to operate their latest research and development machine code-named Medium Shear Extruder Machine, with the capacity to handle about 1.3 tonnes per hour of fish feed or 1.5 tonnes per hour of pet food."
The medium shear extruder that was field tested by Akin-Sateru Farms, is capable of producing pet and fish feeds, and is said to produce a smoother and more cohesive pellet. The new medium shear extruder features the ability to use a variety of ingredients at capacities up to two times more than high shear extruders which provides pellets as small as 2mm.
Insta-Pro claims that the new medium shear extruder offers its users: increased capacity; a lower cost of production; the he ability to make smaller pellet sizes; the ability to make different shaped pellets; improved pellet quality; and is easy to implement into existing extrusion systems.
Insta-Pro president, Kevin Kacere, who was represented by the West Africa Regional Representative, Michael David, said Insta-Pro is known for versatility, efficiency and exceptional values. Speaking on the operational module of the machines, he said Insta-Pro Extruders are economical and easy to operate, offering diverse processing opportunities.
"In 1960s, Insta-Pro invented and patented High Shear Extrusion Technologies and systems. Today Insta-Pro is one of the world's leading manufacturers of processing equipment for fish feed, pet food, among others, including the latest MS3000 for fish feed production," the Insta-Pro president said.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, represented by Professor Placid Njoku of the Animal Science Institute of Nigeria, described the commissioning of the fish feed plant in Lagos as a milestone in the government's Agriculture Transformation Agenda (ATA).
The Minister said that the new plant help its efforts to build a stable food supply base for Nigerians, while at the same time reducing the industries reliance on imports.
"Of the two million tonnes of fish consumed per year in Nigeria, only 700,000 tones are produced locally. Over one million tonnes are imported," the Minister stated.
The Minister added that any nation that couldn't feed itself did not deserve a pride place in the comity of nations; therefore Nigerian investors should welcome efforts like the kind of partnerships entered into by Akin-Sateru, in order to grow the food and allied industries.
Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperative, Gbolahan Lawal, represented by Mrs. Funmi Bamtefa, said that the new fish feed plant would help increase youth employment in the state, stating that the government has provided platforms to support investments in this area.
The Commissioner, stated the locally produced extruded fish feeds would significantly reduce the cost of fish production. He continued to say that with that burden taken off the fish farmers, it would go along way in helping to feed the 20 million residents of Lagos.
Akin-Sateru Farms Nigeria Limited was established in 1979, and is an integrated farm based in Lagos, Nigeria. Apart from the new fish feed extruder line just opened, the company also operates a standard livestock feed mill, built in 1996.