Full Article: The Rockefeller Foundation

  • “…they reproduce generously, laying 500-plus eggs in a single batch, and are fairly indestructible, having been known to survive up to two hours submerged in pure rubbing alcohol. They eat in a writhing mound, thousands sharing a single serving of nearly any kind of organic waste.”
  • “The single most important fact about Black Soldier Flies (BSF) may be that in the larvae stage, they have the Superman-like ability to transform that waste into high-quality protein. Used as alternative protein additives in animal feed, this translates into an inexpensive, clean and sustainable food source—especially important as farmers, along with global economies, struggle to recover from the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including food shortages”

  • “The Rockefeller Foundation has partnered with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) on a project to test business models for scaling insect-based protein feed in poultry and pig farming and aquaculture in Kenya. The goal is to help alleviate poverty, promote food security and improve the overall health status of smallholder farmers.”

  • “Icipe researched more than 28 insect species, including locusts and crickets, before settling on the BSF larvae as the best way forward. “Black Soldier Flies are exceptional,” says Dr. Chrysantus Mbi Tanga, an icipe research scientist specializing in insect-based feed.”

  • “Studies indicate about 90 percent of farmers and 85 percent of feed producers in Kenya are ready to use insect-based feed. The annual supply of dried BSF larvae for feed formulation in Kenya is about 3,600 metric tons, but icipe estimates the current demand at about 90,000 metric tons.”
  • “Increasing BSF production and use in feed has several direct advantages. The first is that it is easier on the pocketbook. “The most expensive component of raising animals is the protein cost in feeds, which accounts for 60 to 70 percent of the total production cost,” says Dr. Tanga. “BSF are a lot more affordable. They grow on organic waste and within two weeks you can harvest them.”
  • “Secondly, Dr. Tanga says, “our research showed the BSF larvae are even better for the animals than conventional feed. Scaling up insect-based technologies will have a huge impact in improving poultry, fish and pig production.”
  • “That means better quality meat and eggs, and faster to market. Mwangi says her free-range chickens, which normally take about 24 weeks to be market-ready, are now going to market at 16 weeks. And her pigs are ready for market in about six or six-and-a-half months, saving her one to two months.”
  • “Thirdly, BSF larvae has the advantage of being solely for animal consumption. Traditional feed is made from fishmeal and soybeans, and the animals are in a sense competing with humans for this food.

    And finally, BSF production creates job opportunities for youth and women who produce the feed. Mwangi employs seven people fulltime, and brings in extra workers during peak harvesting periods”

  • “Here’s how it works: the BSF eggs are placed in tent-like structures along with organic waste where they incubate for three days and then hatch. Pre-pandemic, Mwangi was using potato waste, but has since switched to over-ripe avocados because they have become more readily available. The larvae begin feeding on the waste immediately.”
  • “They grow over about 14 days and then all but 10 to 20 percent are harvested into feed. The remaining BSF perpetuate the colony. Within two weeks, they pass through the pupae stage before becoming flies. The flies live for about 10 to 16 days more on a diet of water only, and during that time they lay the eggs that begin the process again. Another outcome of the process is organic frass fertilizer, which can be sold as an additional value-added product or used in farmlands for increased crop productivity.”





Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.