President hails project to turn Lake Weed into animal feed

Thursday 26th June 2014

President Yoweri Museveni has commended Parabel Ltd, a multi-national company for its innovation in the production of and processing of Lemna, a high protein nutritious aqua micro crop into animal feed and human protein concentrate to be produced on a daily basis in the country.

The company is set to invest up to US$ 50 million in the project with US$10 million already invested in the first phase.

Parabel in partnership with the National Animal Genetic Resource Centre and Data Base (NAGRC&DB) in Entebbe undertook the experimental project to ascertain the yield of the crop and to ensure that the water available and weather conditions in Uganda can support controlled production of this aqua micro crop that would be adequate for a commercial industrial investment.

Lemna is a genus of free-floating aquatic plants from the duckweed family.

These rapidly growing plants have found uses as a model system for studies in community ecology, basic plant biology, in ecotoxicology, in production of biopharmaceuticals, and as a source of animal feeds for agriculture and aquaculture.

In Uganda Lemna exists indigenously in Lake Victoria and other water masses and the Entebbe project was seeded with crop from the lake and is harvested daily.

During the tour of the experimental site of the project recently, President Museveni who was accompanied by Parabel team comprising of the Chairman and CEO Anthony Tiarks, the Vice President Global Field Operations Adrian Thompson and the Vice President Africa; Mr. Tom Buringuriza approved a move by the company to go into a full scale commercial investment leading to the very first state of the art production facility for these products on the African continent.

The President who described the plant by its indigenous name `obugongi’, welcomed the company’s investment and pledged to find land to expand the investment and to extend power to the site.

The Parabel project Chairman Anthony Tiarks said the company invested all the resources for the pilot project and has also recruited young Ugandan graduates as trainees to implement the project.

The project has so far been successful, registering a daily harvest of between 800 to 1250kg from one acre per day.

The Minister of State for Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (Livestock) Hon Bright Rwamirama said the products would be a game changer in animal and human nutrition in Uganda.

“They would provide daily supply of nutrition as opposed to the seasonal one which is unreliable due changing weather conditions,” he said.

The Parabel Vice President for Africa Tom Buringuriza said with land allocated and power availed the company would commission the processing plant within 6 to 8 months.

Uganda will benefit from the project that will provide affordable plant protein and other key nutrients for livestock, humans, poultry and fish affordably and sustainably.

The crop is indigenous and therefore is not a threat to the indigenous environment.

Follow Us, Stay Connected


Sign up for our Email Updates

Sign up below to get the latest updates from State House Uganda by email.