One of the biggest unsolved problems in the world is malnutrition. Especially a micronutrient deficiency, called “hidden hunger”, leads to underdevelopment or deficiency symptoms, triggered by financial hardship and unbalanced nutrition. Between 2014 and 2017, the amount of the population with insecure food access in Africa has increased from 22.3% to 29.8% [FAO, 2017]. Particularly, the higher export rate of cheap European meat to African countries pressures on local farmers.
Due to declining demands for african meat, the national economy gets weaker and reduces local farmers hedge.
Insectus promotes and initiates the construction of insect farms. The Black Soldier Fly is fed by the biological food leftovers from the local markets, such as vegetables and fruit. In doing so, a closed-loop economy is established, which produces valuable insect larvae of the Black Soldier Fly from the free leftovers of the domestic markets. The larvae of the Black Soldier Fly are rich in protein and micronutrients and can be used for chicken farming. The know-how for the construction and operation of insect farms has been acquired through nutritional studies of the black soldier fly [Eawag, 2017] and through our own experience of self-operated farms. To implement the insect farms, members of the Insectus team travel to the elected countries and work with the entrepreneurs to build up the farm according to a self-designed manual. At the same time, they provide training to the future insect farmers and are available to them as counterpart.
The construction and operation of insect farms
– creates jobs & improves the living situation of the locals
– makes countries, especially farmers, less dependent on soya imports
– creates a closed-loop economy and protects the climate through short transports
– a farm with an area of 35 m² and one farmer can produce up to 9 tons of organic food per week
– The implementation rate output (larvae)/ input (vegetables + fruit) is 13%
– With an input of 9 tons, more than one ton of larvae can be bred.
Status of the projects
Since March 2019, one of our insect farms is located in Lomé, the capital of Togo.
The infrastructure of the city offers ideal resources for the Black Soldier Fly with many markets where not all goods (fruit/vegetables) can be sold daily. Our project partner is an African entrepreneur named Catherine. We were on site with six project members from the beginning of March until the end of May to set up the farm and to instruct Catherine in the breeding process. More about our time in Togo and pictures of the farm can be found in our blog posts or on our social media channels. You can read more about it here: Posts to Togo
In cooperation with the German foundation “Klima schützen Kinder leben”, we built another insect farm in Hoima, Uganda, in September 2019. It is located on the ground of our project partner. The farmer Aloysius is particularly interested in using the Black Soldier Fly for agricultural purposes. So he is happy about the fact that remaining organic waste is disposed of by the insects.