In order to produce 1 kilogram of meat anywhere between 2 – 7 kilograms of feed is needed, depending on the livestock. To raise chickens, pigs and farmed fish high levels of protein that currently comes from Soy or Fish Meal is required. The inputs to produce both of these consume natural resources at unsustainable rates.
According to the WWF, soy is the second largest agricultural driver of deforestation worldwide, behind beef. On the other hand poultry and aquaculture use fishmeal as feed due to its high protein content. Worldwide global fish stocks are over-exploited, depleted, fully exploited or in recovery from exploitation.
In Lusaka, Zambia, 450 MT of organic waste is produced every single day. If not collected this waste becomes the ideal breeding ground for pests and diseases and if taken to a landfill it produces methane, a very potent greenhouse gas. According to the UN, rotting food waste accounts for 7% of the global greenhouse gas emissions.
We have a solution that can deal with these problems in a sustainable and cost-effective way. The Black soldier fly is an insect native to Africa that as a larvae (BSFL) can consume as much as 70% of its own body weight in waste every day. For every kilogram of organic waste it consumes, 50 grams of protein are produced. BSFL break down bacteria in their food and adult flies also do not feed or lie their eggs directly onto waste thus reducing the likelihood of spreading disease. They do not concentrate pesticides or mycotoxins. We use BSFL to recycle nutrients in food waste and become the protein content for chicken or fish feed. The remains of the organic waste can be used as a compost. This puts the organic waste back into the food chain which when it is used to produce new crops. BSFL are therefore a clean, efficient and energy rich source of protein
The proposed solution aims to set up a facility within Lusaka, Zambia to produce BSF Larvae (BSFL) to replace the unsustainable use of soy and fishmeal to produce meat, whilst dealing with the waste problem by rearing them on organic waste collected within the city. This makes for a very efficient and low carbon footprint supply chain.
Lusaka is not unique in the challenges that it has and the solution can be easily replicated making it extremely scalable.