Empowering Farmers through Knowledge

Kelp Blue: Transforming Namibia’s Aquaculture with Sustainable Kelp Farming and Blue Bond Initiatives.

Netherlands start-up, Kelp Blue, aims to raise between N$800 million and N$1.4 billion in equity and debt to advance the world’s first large-scale kelp farm in Namibia. As part of their fundraising efforts, the company is exploring the possibility of issuing blue bonds listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX). Kelp Blue Chief of Staff, Greater Mukumbira, stated that the funds will be raised over the next two to five years. The partnership with De Beers has already provided N$150 million in funding. This investment will contribute to the growth of Kelp Blue’s operations, generate employment opportunities, and facilitate the restoration of ocean health through sustainable kelp cultivation.

During the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) event in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Kelp Blue was honored with an award that further validates their commitment to ocean conservation and job creation in the local community. Kelp Blue, founded in 2020 and headquartered in the Netherlands with operations in Namibia, specializes in sustainable oceanic aquaculture. Their goal is to harvest kelp year-round to produce eco-friendly agricultural products and bio-stimulants.

By the end of June, Kelp Blue aims to fully operationalize their processing plant in Lüderitz, which was built at a cost of N$59 million (US$5 million). The plant is expected to yield approximately 150 tonnes of fresh kelp per hectare annually. In recognition of their investment project, Kelp Blue and the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) were awarded first runner-up in the Best Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Project category.

Kelp Blue collects cultivated kelp from the seaweed canopy to manufacture various sustainable products, including agri-food, bio-stimulants, and textiles. The company is currently developing a range of Macrocystis-based products, such as agri-feed for animals, which can enhance productivity and digestion. Research indicates that kelp forests possess exceptional carbon sequestration properties, surpassing those of terrestrial forests, while also supporting thriving marine ecosystems and providing food and shelter for numerous species. De Beers, a 50% partner of Namibia’s government in marine and land-based diamond mining, recognizes the importance of these initiatives.

By securing the necessary funding and partnerships, Kelp Blue strives to revolutionize the aquaculture industry, contribute to sustainable agriculture, and safeguard the marine environment, ultimately benefiting both Namibia and the global community.

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