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Xelect partners to support tilapia operations in Kenya and Uganda

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Xelect is working in a genetic analysis project, supported by Msingi East Africa, that aims at helping to enable modern genetic selective breeding in tilapia operations in Kenya and Uganda.

The project is a significant step forward in sustainable aquaculture in the area and began providing the partner farms with on-the-ground training in the best methods to take tissue samples. The samples were then brought back to Xelect’s custom-built laboratory in Scotland for DNA extraction and genetic analysis. This data will help East African tilapia producers be used to create long-term, sustainable breeding program plans.

“We’re delighted to be working with East African tilapia hatcheries. Despite occasional interruptions from a hippo and monitor lizards, we’re now a major step closer to helping with regional food stability for the area,” said Tom Ashton, operations director, who recently returned from a follow-up visit in Kenya.

2020 has already been a period of considerable expansion for the company securing six new partnerships in recent months and a new expansion of its breeding program management team.

CEO Professor Ian Johnston believes this growth is due to increasing maturity in the market. “With so much inward investment in the industry, we’ve reached a tipping point. We believe the market will ultimately fracture into major producers, using the latest genetics best practice and smaller local operations. Investors would be very unwise to commit significant resources to aquaculture operations if they don’t truly understand and protect the genetic capital of their broodstock.”

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