Mchinji-based Kanyazulu Farm has ventured on a new insect farming called black soldier-flies in an effort to scale up animal protein feed and beat high cost of animal feed.
In an interview with Nyasa Times, Co-director of Kanyazulu Farm, Merra Gesman, said they embarked on this type of farming after discovering that the black soldier flies provide higher protein nutrients to the animals than the normal protein feed on the market.
“We noted that aside from giving high protein to the livestock it is also cheap in a way that the keeping of the black soldier flies does not require a lot of capital and once you purchase the larvae for the first time it keeps on reproducing and giving the necessary yields,” said Gesman.
He said mainly the animals are fed with the larvae which are highly nutritious and you can start to note the changes in a few weeks time after you have started feeding the animals.
“The larvae can be fed in raw form to chickens, ducks, turkeys, guinea fowl, fish and pigs or it can be fed dried or can be ground and mixed with other ingredients for further processing into pellets before being fed to our animals,” he said.
Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) Biotechnology Researcher Dr Kingdom Kwapata said the initiative has a potential to transform poultry and other livestock production in the country.
“This is a welcome development that we have such farmers who are thinking of innovative ways to boost their business,” Kwapata said.
He says protein feed takes up 60 percent of the production, which is a big cost for livestock production.
“I encourage other farmers to start producing their own feed through technologies such as black soldier flies or explore other innovative ways to improve their farming system,” Kwapata said.