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Siaya self-help group rears Black Soldier Flies as high-quality cost-cutting feed

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Through the 16-member Kings World Self-Help group, Siaya farmers are rearing Black Soldier Flies (BSF) as an alternative way to get high-quality and cost-cutting feed

BSF has been a more sustainable and affordable source of protein for their poultry, pigs, fish, and fingerlings.

The cost of commercial feeds for poultry and pig farming has been increasing, discouraging farmers from investing in these ventures. Farmers have traditionally used soybean and fishmeal as protein sources for their animals. However, these protein sources are costly for smallholder farmers.

Based in Bondo sub-County, the group is using brewer’s organic waste supplied by the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST), as well as food and organic waste collected from local markets in neighboring Kisumu and Siaya Counties to breed the fast-growing protein rich BSF larvae into animal feed.

Bilha Akoko, the group’s lead reflects on how the project, which started in December 2022, has transformed her life and the lives of her fellow group members. She recounts that the project’s production began four months ago, and since then, they have sold 200 kilograms of black soldier flies to pig farmers in the area.

“In August, we sold 200 kilograms of wet larvae to the pig farmers. We are not drying them yet because we need specialised drying equipment, which is quite expensive,” says Bilha. She adds that part of the larvae that remained after the sale was used to recycle their production.

Her group’s long-term objective is to stabilise the production of BSF larvae before investing in their fish feed production, where the BSF larvae will be the primary protein source. 

Of the 15 members, eight are youths, while the rest are above 35 years. Their varying ages notwithstanding, the group continues to dedicate their time to transform the venture into a massive project in a year.

As the group’s chairperson, Bilha notes that despite the potential benefits they have seen, there were several challenges they have faced since they commenced the project. “Last month, we were affected by parasitoid; we had so much pupa, but the parasitoid infected them, so they were unable to hatch into flies,”

She adds that breaking down the waste is another challenge, especially food waste. “We need to break down our waste from the markets into liquid form so that the larvae can consume it, “she notes.

In addition, Bilha noted the need to acquire a grinder for grinding the waste into smaller pieces. “When the food waste is cut into pieces manually, some larvae are unable to eat them due to the large sizes, hence impeding the growth process”.

Courtesy: FAO in Kenya

Read more:

How to grow own black soldier larvae for feeding indigenous chicken

KALRO using common green fly to make livestock feed, decompose food waste

Black Soldier Fly grower enlisting farmers to earn income

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