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Tanzania bio-tech insect firm will recycle nutrients in food waste

by Lucas Liganga DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- BioBuu Limited, a company registered in Tanzania is using the larvae of black soldier fly (BSF) or the Hermetia illucens to recycle nutrients in food waste and become the protein content for chicken or fish feed.

BSF is an insect native to Tanzania that can consume as much as 70 percent of its own body weight in waste every day.

"For every kilogram of organic waste it consumes, 50 grams of protein are produced," says Matthew Haden, BioBuu Limited Commercial Director.

BioBuu Limited was registered in Tanzania in 2016 after three years of research on the breeding and feeding behaviors of black soldier flies.

The company has focused on a factory model that produces high protein chicken and fish feed as well as organic compost.

"We are breeding more than three million of these insects every day just outside Dar es Salaam, in terms of individual animals, I would bet that would make us the biggest farm in Tanzania.

"Of course, our animal is a small insect," Haden told Xinhua in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

He says the goal of BioBuu Limited was to recycle the nutrients in organic waste into a high protein feed supplement for poultry and aquaculture.

Soy and fishmeal are the main protein contents used to feed chickens and aquaculture fish, but both are unsustainable at current rates, says Haden.

"There will not be enough available fresh water to irrigate croplands to feed estimated populations in 2050.

"Even today, using soy as an example, research estimates that millions of hectares of the Amazon rainforest have been cleared for its production," he said.

According to him, around 85 percent of global fish stocks were over-exploited, depleted, fully exploited or in recovery from exploitation.

In Tanzania, the availability of soy and the high cost of fishmeal are prohibitive to poultry and aquaculture farmers, says Haden.

"Our innovation uses organic waste to feed black-solider fly (BSF) larvae and produce a high-quality protein feed for chickens and fish that is sustainable and affordable.

"This is being used to replace soy and fishmeal at more affordable costs," he said.

"We have a consistent price that is very competitive," says Kigen Compton, BioBuu Limited CEO, adding: "We sell a dried version of the insect that has a very good protein and amino acids profile."

Currently BioBuu sells primarily to small and medium scale chicken farmers, he says, adding that since feed makes up the majority of costs for chicken and fish farmers, using BSF larvae reduces the cost of producing chicken and fish by up to 25 percent and thus has a long-term impact on the affordability of meat for consumers in Tanzania.

"We are working with poultry farmers that mix their own feed and are looking for more affordable and innovative solutions," said Compton.

"We are in the process of doing trials with the Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute for fish feed as well," he added.

Another product of the facility is organic compost.

As the insects eat the waste, they turn it into very good compost.

BioBuu has been trialing this out with farmers all across Tanzania.

The company is also making a bin for home and farm use so Tanzanians can grow their own insects from their waste.

"Many Tanzanians have chickens at home.

"We have designed a bin where you can dispose of your foodwaste.

"The insect naturally comes, lays eggs and eats your food waste," he said.



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