Sustainable meat by insects in the feed can revolutionize agriculture?

According to the plants you are looking for in the greenhouse by Frederick Kimathi Githua in vain. Instead of fruit and vegetables yellow grow of the Royal larv

Sustainable meat by insects in the feed can revolutionize agriculture?

According to the plants you are looking for in the greenhouse by Frederick Kimathi Githua in vain. Instead of fruit and vegetables yellow grow of the Royal larvae in the stacked plastic crates. In cages fly black, wasps similar insects around.

In his small operation in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi Frederick Kimathi Githua breeds fly the Black Soldier (Hermetia illucens). The small insect with a long name is abbreviated from breeders worldwide, "BSF”, which stands for the English name "black soldier fly”. Twice a week he fed the larvae of the BSF to his chickens and pigs. A welcome addition to the diet of animals that eat otherwise waste from the market.

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"you love this,” he says. "The chickens run away not even; you simply stop and wait when I get the larvae out.”

In October 2019 Frederick Kimathi Githua started to post photos and Videos of his experiments on the rearing, feeding and processing of the BSF larvae on YouTube and Facebook.

Since then, he is active on social networks, finds his company international attention. The insects, farmers make to the delivery of BSF starter kits, in which fly eggs for aspiring breeders are included, hardly.

"We had calls from Nigeria, Ghana, the ivory coast, and Italy,” says Frederick Kimathi Githua proud of.

Frederick Kimathi Githua is one of more than 1,300 Kenyan farmers and entrepreneurs were trained on Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (short ICIPE) in BSF-production. The ICIPE is a research Institute with headquarters in Kenya. Their stated goal is to improve the standard of living of the people in the tropics with the help of insects.

At the ICIPE research already for 2015 for the Black soldier fly as a protein-containing feed insect for fish farming. There are, as yet, fed mainly soy and fish flour. Since both of the feed have a significant negative impact on the environment, the people there are great hopes on the Black soldier fly as an alternative source of protein. to be able to

soy grow, often illegally clearing forests in many cases. A recently published study, for example, shows that about one-fifth of the amount of soy that is exported every year from the Brazilian Amazon and the adjacent Cerrado Region in the European Union, growing on fields cleared were.

you can Also use fish meal, consisting of dried and ground Fish and other sea animals, pollutes the environment. Worldwide, 20% of the fish and marine animals not to be used wild catch for human nutrition, but feeding it back to animals. Because a third of the world's fish stocks already overfished, is an Alternative to fish meal urgently necessary.

As a feed for the Black soldier cuts fly in comparison to fishmeal and even soy better. The insect research centre ICIPE certifies the forage insect BSF to be less stressful for the environment because it feeds on waste products, grows rapidly, has a high protein content and is directly on a little area cultivated can be. to feed

insects to livestock is also more efficient, because the ratio of the inserted feed is in Relation to the amount of produced meat is better than fish meal, for example.

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Regional product, and

Charles Mwendia directs the feed company "Treasure Feeds” and feed for several years, poultry and pigs, with the BSF-instead of fish meal. Reason for the shift is the poor quality of the Omena – small freshwater fish that is being processed in Kenya to fish meal and fish together with other ingredients as feed use was. All the other protein sources in the animal feed area of imported soya, for example, and the so-called press cake, which are a by - product of sunflower oil or cottonseed oil production.

"the BSF is the first locally-produced protein source,” says Charles Mwendia. Regionality is a big plus during the global Corona pandemic – a time in which it was made clear how fragile international supply chains.

to meet The demand for affordable animal feed in Kenya, complete with BSF larvae, is a major challenge, as Chrysantus Thong white. She works in the insect research institution ICIPE for the Black soldier fly. 180,000 tonnes of Protein are needed in Kenya a year for feed, a huge amount. The half of the feed market is currently made up of animal Protein, and the other from plant such as soy.

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"[Animal Protein] is the Segment that we want to replace,” said Chrysantus Thong. But if you wanted to only replace 15% of the demand of animal Protein in Kenya, with BSF larvae, there is a need of 13,500 tonnes of larvae per year. Tanga is that even large farms can currently produce only about 1,000 - 2,000 tons a year. Until you have bred a large insect population, in order to cover the larval needs, will still be a lot of time is needed.

a Lot of animal protein for little money

Maryann Wanga working at a small company Insect Research Limited, the Black soldier fly produces larvae as an alternative feed for the livestock, and markets. It was difficult to encourage older farmers to changes in animal feed, says the veterinarian.

"you Know, the older Generation referred to the larvae as the worms,” she says. "We need to explain to you a lot and provide convincing work.”

Maryann Wangas employer's Insect Research is based in Kenya. In order to prove to the farmers that the offered Alternative work, if you are operating an own shop farm. The pigs are fed with BSF larvae reach the slaughter weight a month earlier than the conventional feed. So, the farmers can also reduce their expenditures for feed by 15%.

Kimani Mungai founded the company Insect Research Limited, after employees of the research institution ICIPE were in the company of his family, Happy Feed, to buy spent grain– a waste product obtained during the brewing of beer and malt residues arises. They wanted to use it to feed any animals, as usual, but the larvae of the Black soldier fly.

So Kimani Mungai learned the BSF larvae to know and learned that the fed either directly or is dried to an animal can be added to the feed mixture. Because the insect larvae is 40% cheaper than fishmeal and a similar nutrient content have focused Kimani Mungai more so.

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Since its founding 18 months ago, Insect Research produced four tonnes of larvae every month. In the greenhouse of the company, there are a series of colorful, stacked crates. The larvae are waste with a mixture of Potato, spent grain and pig manure fattened. The adult flies are kept in large, with fly screen-spanning duck cages, where they lay their eggs.

Kenya is not the only country in which there are more and more interested for the Black soldier fly. Beyhan de Jong of the Dutch Rabobank has been observed that companies in North America, Europe, and South Africa in the last few years, millions of dollars in production facilities for BSF larvae have invested.

BSF – A sustainable solution?

Beyhan de Jong, whose employer is specialised in the Agricultural and farming industry, is to consider that the production quantity of BSF larvae is still relatively low. High investment costs in building new production slowed down the growth, so the industry analyst, Rabobank. This applies even for countries such as Kenya, where wages are low and energy costs due to the tropical climate, low. Technical equipment, such as drying devices for further processing of the larvae were expensive.

Others are sceptical about the use of BSF larvae. "It's not obvious to me why you should feed an animal with another animal,” says Brett Glencross from the Scottish University of Stirling.

"The best solution currently available in the area of new technologies, are single-celled bacteria which manufacture proteins. You don't compete with our food chain.” says the nutrition scientist working at the Institute of aquaculture. "These bacteria do not need a Protein to generate proteins: restore it yourself. The bacteria and plants.” Of bacteria-produced proteins can be fed to fish, to farm animals such as dairy cows or cattle, and Pets.

The proponents of the Black soldier fly complain again and again strict rules and regulations. The industry is now trying to take influence on policy in Kenya. It should be easier to open up such an operation.

Despite all the hurdles, the BSF-scientist Chrysantus Thong is optimistic: "We have set in Kenya and Uganda Standards [for BSF larvae in animal feed]. A one-time process in the whole of Africa. Before insects were in the animal feed as a contaminating substance! We made a big progress since then.”

author: Emilie Filou

*The contribution of "Sustainable meat by insects in the feed can revolutionize agriculture?" published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 30 July 2020, 08:27

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