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Cargill invests in aquaculture business through JV

The $30m joint venture with Naturisa will invest in an Ecuadorian shrimp feed facility.

Cargill, the food and agri giant, has formed a joint venture with Naturisa to build a shrimp feed facility near Guayaquil, Ecuador worth $30 million. Naturisa is a local shrimp production business.

The project will build a new shrimp feed mill that is expected to produce 130,000 metric tons a year and provide 260 jobs when it opens in 2017, according to a statement.

Cargill will own 75 percent and managerial control over the day-to-day operation, and Naturisa the remaining 25 percent. I

Global farmed fish production topped beef production for the first time in 2011 and reached a record 66 million tons in 2012, compared to beef’s 63 million tons, according to the Earth Policy Institute.

Cargill, which owns Black River Asset Management (BRAM) as its private equity arm, has been importing agricultural commodities into Ecuador for many years.

Cargill are new to the aquaculture business, but active investors in the space include US venture capital and private equity firm Seven Funds that focuses on the aquaculture and sustainable food sectors. The firm started fundraising for its $200 million aquaculture fund at the beginning of the year.