Header Ads

Save money and Earn millions with this Insect Farming.

Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) being reproduced in compost.

For an average Kenyan farmer practicing animal husbandry, life has always been a struggle. Nothing comes easy. The cost of feed has become a daily nightmare especially for the poultry farmers.

However, there is some good news for livestock farmers. A top international research centre in Kenya has been conducting a study on an insect that may change the fortunes of fish and poultry farmers by significantly reducing the cost of feeds.

This study involves the use of larvae of an insect known as Black Soldier Fly (BSF) which would potentially substitute ingredients used as sources of protein and energy in feeds.

The black soldier fly, which resembles a skinny black wasp, is an insect known for its ability in decomposing of organic matter and convert manure and organic feed into nutritional meal for animals.
An adult Black Soldier Fly (BSF)

The adult fly does not sting nor ‘buzz’ and is difficult to notice since it does not fly into houses or where human beings are gathered. It is beneficial in that it acts as a deterrent to the common house fly by exuding a hormone that they don’t like thus significantly reducing their numbers.

The adult Black Soldier Fly doesn’t eat and lives for barely an hour just to reproduce. When the eggs hatch the larvae digest any compostable food scraps or biowaste you feed them.

Hidden treasure.

But it is the larvae stage of the insect is a hidden treasure.

The larva is one of the most promising sources of important nutrients for poultry and fish. The larvae contains up to 42% protein content, 35% fat as well as essential amino acids and minerals. These include methionine, lysine, alanine and are good sources of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals which are essential for growth and egg production in chicken. 

Life Cycle.

The BSF has a short life cycle and this makes the production economical and viable.

The adult female fly lays about 500 eggs per lay. Eggs are laid in dry areas or in decaying organic matter or manure. Decaying matter may include rotting fruits, vegetables or meat scrapes. Manure from cattle, rabbits or poultry can be used too. This means farmers can also use the manure produced from their kukus to produce the larvae.

The eggs hatch into larvae in about four to five days.

Dried Black soldier fly larvae.
The larval stage of the fly digests the organic matter and in two weeks the larvae have reached their maturity where they measure approximately three centimetres in length. Here, the farmers can then immediately harvest and feed to chickens or dry and store the excess larvae to be used as poultry feed in future.

In Kenya, one can get more info about this type of farming from BSFL organics that established the business in 2016. Its director Eric Mbugua has also established his own processing facility in Lower Kabete in Kiambu County, barely 10km from Nairobi’s CBD.

The company produces one tonne per week of the dairy meal which requires 190 kilograms of the black soldier fly larvae (BSFL).

The International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) trains farmers on how to rear the BSFL which then Eric buys from the farmers to produce dairy meal for farmers in Kahawa Sukari, Kahawa Wendani and Ruiru.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.