The global population is growing by over 75 million hungry mouths annually, and demand for food and other agricultural products is projected to increase 50% -70% by 2050, significantly stressing the declining resource base upon which agriculture depends. Substantial improvements in resource-efficiency, producing more with less, will be required in order to satisfy this demand.
The farming of fish in a controlled environment presents a viable and sustainable opportunity to supplement dwindling wild fish stocks by producing an affordable protein source with a small carbon footprint. Fish is also one of the most resource-efficient ways to produce protein as fish convert more of the feed they eat into body mass than land animals and ironically require less water.
Initially a hobby, which developed into a pilot project with limitations due to economies of scale; the founders of this initiative realised that in order to make this a viable operation, there was a requirement for some form of cooperative effort, and so Karoo Catch was conceived.
Tapping into the underutilised potential labour force and existing water sources enabled us to bring the concept to life. The underutilisation of existing local resources provided an enormous competitive advantage, and thus an opportunity to develop a new economic activity and income stream based on the region’s existing physical and social characteristics.
Karoo Catch have developed an innovative and highly replicable community-based empowerment and food security business model which utilises the world’s optimal aquaculture species and climate-resilient production systems to tap into underutilised local resources for the large-scale commercial production of affordable, internationally unique, fish-based protein products.
This model includes a networked “farm to fork” system of agro-production, value-addition processing, logistics, marketing, training and support services, which simultaneously provides a platform for community groups, government departments, financiers, equity investors and the private sector to participate and support the clearly defined objectives.
The current phase focuses on the establishment of the first operational business unit, which also serves as a support system for future replication, and a business support package framework which will enable Karoo Catch to leverage its existing capacity and resources in order to scale up and support the future smallholder duplications.
Our vision is to expedite local HDI (historically disadvantaged individual) access to, and enable effective participation in, this market-driven business opportunity; thereby ensuring the enhancement of an inclusive local economy in which there is expanded opportunity for more broadly shared prosperity. In particular, we aim to empower young women.
This initiative has facilitated a metamorphosis in people’s perceptions around aquaculture and aquaculture products, as well as a true understanding of the positive impact of such interventions on both people and their living conditions.