02 December 2016
Modern society produces enormous volumes of organic waste on a daily
basis stemming from agriculture, breweries, food industries, as well
animal manure. This waste is then accumulated and dumped in landfills, burnt,
or dealt with in other environmentally damaging ways. What if these organic
materials could be re-used in society?
In addition, in Namibia, poultry and fish farming suffer from the
increasing costs of feed, especially protein ingredients such as soy, maize and
fishmeal. These protein sources are becoming increasingly limited due to the
volatile weather which has and still is negatively affecting Southern Africa.
Drought spells have resulted in a decline in farming output and a sustained
price increase in raw commodities such as soy and maize. These price increases
can be seen in the increased price of consumer staple foods and the rising
costs of animal feeds. Further to the environmental and price issues affecting
Namibia, the country’s animal feed industry also heavily relies on imports from
neighbours such as South Africa and Zambia to supply protein sources that are
used in poultry, swine and fish farming operations.
ven the worrying drought trend affecting the region, farmers and food
producers need access to new methods and technologies in order to safeguard
their farming operations and livelihoods as well as increase the benefit they
and their communities accrue from their businesses.
Agricycle Namibia, owned by three young Namibians; John Lush (24), Gunter Rust
(29) and myself (25), has developed a system that will address both the
environmental problems and animal feed deficiency issues affecting Namibia and
the region at large. The system seeks to facilitate the conversion of organic
waste into resourceful by-products by using the larvae of Hermetia illucens
commonly known as the Black Soldier Fly (BSF). The organic waste converted by
the larvae of BSF is transformed from a nuisance, concentrated waste, to an
affordable, safe and sustainable protein meal for animal feed.
Insects are a natural food source for poultry and fish and are rich in protein
and other valuable nutrients. They can also be used to improve animal diets
through the replacement of synthetic protein sources such as urea. The rearing
of the BSF is hence a viable alternative protein source for animal feed in
Namibia and Africa. The feeding studies conducted so far have confirmed that
the palatability and chemical safety of animal feed meals containing BSF is
safe and viable . An additional by-product of the process will be an organic
fertilizer for crop production, and bio-oil. If you are interested or know any
farmers who would like to learn more visit our website at www.agricyclenamibia.com
. About our Guest Author
Toivo Thomas has an academic background and experience in the fields of
agriculture, ecology and medical biology. He is one of the Directors of
Agricycle, along with John Rush and Gunter Rust. Their inspiration to start
this business stemmed from a collective interest in farming chicken and
livestock, environmental sustainability and reducing the cost of animal feed.
Image credit: The Good Radio Network