Poultry farmers from various countries noted that feed prices rose to unprecedented heights, making their business unviable. The war in Ukraine has a direct impact on the costs of grain, soy, fuel and fertiliser for these farmers. This affects the sales price of eggs and poultry meat, in a situation where intake is already below the World Health Organsiation recommended intake. In Rwanda, for example, the average consumption is just one egg per month per capita.
One solution that could be considered, might come from protein production with insects, which are fed with organic waste. Insects such as the black soldier fly, the mealworm and the crickets are the new farm animals, with waste streams are reconsidered as a new raw material.
The black soldier fly is relatively easy to handle under tropical conditions. It produces larvae in a quick cycle that takes about 12 days. These larvae contain significant amounts of protein, which can replace part of the fishmeal and soy in poultry feed. Depending on the type and volume of waste streams, insect proteins can cut the poultry feed price by half. Other uses include the large-scale processing of municipal waste, as well as the rearing of crickets which can serve as human food.
EKN Uganda Agricultural Counsellor Frank Buizer explains further, "the insect industry is on a growth path in Africa. It needs to scale up quickly to meet the potential demand from the poultry sector. Dutch knowledge, experience and entrepreneurship are valuable assets in this stage of development. Our embassies in East Africa are keen to make the connections and help this sector grow."
As a follow-up to the ‘insect as feed’ activities at Poultry Africa, embassy staff from East Africa will be visiting Dutch insect farms and businesses. Meetings will also be held with Dutch knowledge, business and development partners interested in supporting exchange and learning within the African insect for feed and food industry.