- Website: www.geossy.com
- Sector: Agriculture
- Country of operations: Uganda
Across eastern Uganda and western Kenya there’s high demand for fish, but very few farmers. Step forward Geossy, which produces fish in cages to supply to vendors across both regions. In doing so, the company is helping to tackle malnutrition, create jobs and develop local skills.
An umbrella approach to fish production has been the key to Geossy’s success by enabling the company to develop a cost-efficient business model. “We put everything concerning fish farming under one umbrella: the cage fish farm, fingerlings [small, young fish] and feed production,” explains CEO Emanu Georwell. “Producing feeds and the fingerlings ourselves has helped us cut our costs.”
This competitive offering has helped Geossy to attract customers. What’s more, the company has carved out a niche in its sector by being the region’s only producer to focus on selling to female fish vendors. This demand, along with Geossy’s ability to meet it, has allowed the business to make ambitious growth plans, which include doubling its workforce in the next five years. Emanu says: “We should be able to supply 10 tonnes of fish or more per week, indirectly employing more than 10,000 vendors.”
“Producing feeds and the fingerlings ourselves has helped us cut our costs”
Geossy expects its supplies to not only boost business for vendors, but also help to reduce malnutrition by 3% in eastern Uganda. There are some challenges on the horizon, though. Emanu points out that the risk of an outbreak of fish disease grows as the size of the caged-fish population rises. “I also anticipate increased importation of fish from markets like China,” he adds. Other issues the company faces include a shortage of skilled personnel, high taxes and high interest rates on loans, as well as what it describes as a volatile environment for entrepreneurship.
On the plus side for Geossy, an increasing population should lead to greater demand for fish in the future and, despite the likelihood of more imports, the company expects prices to rise in the coming years. It also anticipates growth in the number of fish markets, which would increase the availability of fish to the local population while cutting the distance anyone must travel to find them.
- Geossy expects its fish supplies to help to reduce malnutrition in eastern Uganda by 3%