South African fly farm creates animal feed from biowaste

fly-ali-arsh flickrThe firm recently won a US$100,000 Innovation Prize for Africa. (Image source: Ali Arsh/Flickr)A fly factory in South Africa has manufactured natural animal feed from biological waste

The factory collects manure, blood, guts and discarded food and then lets flies loose on the waste.

The winged insects lay eggs on the piles of waste, which then hatch into larvae, which eat the waste. Once fattened, the larvae are collected and processed into animal feed with nutritional composition as good as fishmeal and better than soya, according to AgriProtein Technologies

Jason Drew, chairman of AgriProtein, said, “We take food from food factories, we take blood and guts from slaughter house, we take animal poop from concentrated farming operations and we use different species of flies to eat and combine those wastes.

“We might not think those are attractive things but flies love that sort of stuff. It’s what nature invented the fly for — to recycle that protein.”

A single female fly lays 750 eggs in under a week, which hatches into larvae and grows 400 times its weight in a few days. 

Drew said, “Within 10 years from now, we will consider it normal to recycle our waste nutrients.”

AgriProtein recently won a US$100,000 Innovation Prize for Africa, a joint initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Innovation Foundation.

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