9. Tilapia investment reference framework

There is no rocket science involved here. The more you invest the more you can control.

Scales of economy dictate that large scale investments of R500M+ are the ones in which you can own your own feedmill as well as all the other components of the value chain. At less than this level of investment is is more profitable to buy in your own feed, but anything above R20M+ or so would require a proper level of feasibility study to be undertaken unless you are a speculator prepared to gamble R20M+. We work too hard to be gamblers and so we’re probably not your partner of choice in this arena.

Level 1 : Circa R50k to R100k over a year or two.

Beginning with a simple APU and setup for one as a learning and research system between R50k and R100k will allow you to produce around 250 fish a month from the system at a plate size – around 300g or so. It will take a you a while to spool up to this level of production and learning events along the way will be valuable lessons in the art of fish farming. To make it easier for starting up we are developing a rent to buy option where you can deposit R15k and pay off the system at R2k a month after which you own it (you will need to add a tunnel,heating, feed, fingerlings etc at your own pace). On this, if you hate fish farming so much you never want to get into it, you can simply hand the APU back to us after a year and we’ll refund you the R15k deposit.

Level 2: Circa R1M to R1.5M over a year or two.

At this level you will be running a complete tunnel production system comprising of 15 APUs and 12 to 15 tons per annum of production of fish. It will take you about a year to spool up to full production but this is done gradually with small batches of fingerlings entering the system to minimise your overall risk as you come to grips with farming. At this level you will be buying in fingerlings and feed, processing and selling the fish yourself direct to market.

Level 3: Circa R5M.

This will be a number of greenhouse systems typically aimed at more experience fish farmers who already know what they are doing and/or who have the personnel resources in place to run the farm. This is a production capacity of between 80 to 100 tons per annum, possibly more depending on conditions. At this level you will be buying in fingerlings and fed, processing and selling the fish yourself  direct to market and smaller distributors.

Expansion beyond this capacity is likely to take the direction of intensive RAS farming – in which Rydawi Services will custom build a design for you and your existing APU infrastructure will become part of your hatchery and nursery. Nothing is (or should be) wasted in aquaculture.

Level 4: Circa R50M.

At this level the APU system starts to become less a part of production and more a part of your owned hatchery and nursery. These will then feed into an intensive scale RAS operation that leverages increased stocking densities against a lower overall cost of production. Product processing, packaging will be more sophisticated and owned, and distribution networks will become more formal although informal networks will still abound. Tonnages at this level will be around 700 TPA but will also be location specific and business plan specific. Rydawi Services is our engineering and business development team that will bear the responsibility of working with you to develop a successful project at this level.

Level 5: Circa R500M+

At this level around 7,000 TPA is a realistic expectation. Key to this level of investment is the ownership of your own feed mill that drives the cost of production lower still. Such a scale business will require the development of a business blueprint – the bankable feasibility study which when coupled with a pilot to prove viability will form the basis of the business build out. Markets will likely be formal and pricing and marketing methods established ahead of production commencing. Again, Rydawi Services is our engineering and business development team that will bear the responsibility of working with you.