Zambians are avid fish eaters: individual intake averages 10 kilograms per year, and demand is rising alongside a growing population, intensifying urbanization and expanding incomes1. To meet demand, Zambia imports over 50 percent of fish consumed, an amount estimated at about $367 million.
The World Bank estimates that fish imports to Zambia have climbed 15-fold in the past decade, and Zambia's government has identified aquaculture as a high priority sector2. Supplying animal protein is problematic, however, due to unreliable cold chain logistics and inadequate storage facilities.
Zambia's Capital Fisheries has overcome these difficulties by operating a vertically integrated business distributing local and imported frozen fish and meat. It operates the logistics business, Capital.Trucking, and sells block ice called 'Capital Ice'. Capital Fisheries is Zambia's largest frozen food wholesale network, distributing over 240 local and imported frozen food products to supermarkets, restaurants and informal markets via a network of over 50 wholesale depots.
Capital Fisheries has been able to grow in part by purchasing large volumes at competitive prices from longstanding partners. It also sells quality products at low prices, often offering price promotions in the middle of the month, when customers are cash-tight. The Company's ability to deliver sustainable and reliable protein to Zambians helps foster food security in the country, and supports agribusiness, which employs over 50 percent of the population.
Video credit: USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment Hub
2 Sudha Bala Krishnan and Teresa Petersburs. 2017. “Zambia Jobs in Value Chains: Opportunities in Agribusiness.” World Bank, Washington, DC.