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The Push to Finance the Global Shrimp Industry - The Finance and Investment Seminar

Gorjan Nikolik will chair the Finance and Investment Summit

 

The Finance and Investment Seminar will be chaired by Gorjan Nikolik, Senior Analyst at Rabobank, and will take place between 9am-12pm on Thursday 8th September. The programme for this seminar is now available to view on the Global Shrimp Forum website, so please click here to view an overview of what’s in store.

Gorjan, alongside co-founder of the Global Shrimp Forum, Jørgen Lund, gave us a great insight into what to expect from this seminar. Take a read of the article below to learn more about the key points, challenges and benefits of finance and investment within the Global Shrimp Industry.

The Importance of Financing the Global Shrimp Market

Gorjan: There is no doubt about it, the shrimp market is a growth sector, with lots of potential. This is a key reason why people choose to invest in this industry, as despite its challenges, we know these can be overcome with technology. However, this often requires a large amount of investment. Alongside this, the value chain can also be improved in a number of ways, but in order to do so, we need better genetics, farm equipment, technology and knowledge. There are different ways of going about this, but the sector needs to mature and become more predictable in order to grow. It will be great to hear from the multiple CEOs contributing to this seminar, such as Glen Illing, CEO and partner at AquaWoo and Gibran Hufaizah, CEO of eFishery, to hear how investment can help overcome these challenges.

Jørgen: We also want to attract new investors that will look upon the opportunity to invest into the sector. The shrimp business is huge, and we don’t have as many restrictions on production. This is why the industry expanded by one million tonnes in just one year. But as Gorjan mentioned, the capital side of things is what drives the industry and is what enables the growth of production, and the modernisation and expansion through new technology. If you compare the shrimp industry to the salmon business, salmon is incredibly high tech. The shrimp industry on the other hand, is in need of an upgrade. However, there is a reluctance to finance the shrimp industry because of the high risks involved.

Shrimp on a sampling tray
On the photo: Shrimp juveniles on a sampling tray. Shrimp mortality is relatively high compared to, for example, poultry, making innovation all the more important. © Aquaconnect

Gorjan: Yes, the risks can be high. If you compare shrimp to chicken for example, the mortality in chicken is only a few percent, whereas shrimp is somewhere between 15% and 35% which is huge. So, innovation for the sector is really key to help overcome the challenges.

In the second part of the seminar, we’ll hear from venture capital firms, which are typically focused on the technologies themselves. Often these companies are interested in early-stage technologies, such as automatic feed distribution and mobile software for rural farmers to use, which can inform and assist the decision-making process of the farmer, taking into consideration external factors, like temperature, for example. It turns out, if you feed shrimp at night, they grow much faster!

Shrimp ponds top-down view
On the photo: A top-down view of a shrimp ponds. The shrimp industry had long been overlooked by the global finance community, but the tide is shifting. © Aquaconnect

The Key Message for Attendees:

Jørgen: In terms of what we want people to take away from this seminar, we would love people to leave with a better understanding of how finance and capital can elevate the industry, and what the constraints are for this to happen. Private investor money will be crucial for this industry, and we really want to highlight this. There is a real market potential within the shrimp industry and it poses a great business opportunity. For a very long time, I think this has been overlooked by the global finance community – they have been investing in so many other areas and we really want to demonstrate the commercial opportunities of investing in shrimp.

Further information

The Finance and Investment seminar will take place on the second day of the forum and will involve three in-depth presentations and two panel discussions. If you would like to find out more information about the session, you can read the detailed seminar overview by heading to the programme section of the GSF website or click here to register your place at the forum.