An insect farm in Kenya is fighting food waste with fly larvae

The Kenyan insect farm InsectiPro is chipping away at the 1,900 tons of organic food waste produced in Nairobi every day. The farm feeds more than 30 tons of discarded fruit to black soldier fly larvae, then dries and sells the larvae as animal feed. Demand for the company’s animal […]

  • The Kenyan insect farm InsectiPro is chipping away at the 1,900 tons of organic food waste produced in Nairobi every day.
  • The farm feeds more than 30 tons of discarded fruit to black soldier fly larvae, then dries and sells the larvae as animal feed.
  • Demand for the company’s animal feed has increased since the pandemic began.
  • View more episodes of Business Insider Today on Facebook.

At an insect farm in Kenya, fly larvae are being used to combat food waste.

It’s part of the InsectiPro farm’s mission to chip away at the 1,900 tons of organic waste produced in Nairobi every day.

InsectiPro uses the larvae of black soldier flies to break down more than 30 tons of discarded fruit each day. The fruit scraps come in from markets, juice companies, and breweries, and are then fed to the larvae.

From there, the larvae are dried and sold as animal feed. 

Any excess waste created by these larvae are sold to neighboring farms to use in the soil.

“The biggest difference is that the [black soldier fly] manure, the plant converts it very fast, so it is like fertilizer,” farmer Douglas Njoroge told Reuters. “It is taken up very fast, it breaks into the soil very well, and it also helps the soil maintain a very good texture.”

Talash Huijbers founded InsectriPro two years ago. The farm normally produces around two tons of larvae each day, but the pandemic cut production in half.

fly larvae

InsectiPro feeds organic food waste to fly larvae, and then sells them to neighboring farms as animal feed.

Reuters


Meanwhile, border closures slowed imports of other types of animal feed like fishmeal, which is popular in Kenya, creating more demand for InsectiPro’s locally sourced larvae. Growing concerns over fishmeal’s environmental impact have made room for more sustainable and affordable alternatives like insects.

InsectiPro isn’t alone — entrepreneurs and startups in North America and Europe are part of the movement, too.

The company plans to eventually use every part of the insect, including the shell.

InsectiPro has more abstract goals in mind too, like getting people to think about waste, and these little grubs, in a different way. 

“We think InsectiPro is a company of the future, because we are where sustainability and profitability meet,” Huijbers said. “And more importantly, we see the beauty within the beast. And I think you should too.”

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