Farmers in Kenya are rearing insects commercially on human and food waste and other organic remains. The reared insects are utilised as protein-rich insect-based products for animal feed.
By doing so, they are serving twin purposes.
First, the reared black soldier flies with high 37 to 63 per cent protein are an important replacement for expensive animal feed-protein additives that are used in fish, poultry and pig feeds.
And second, they contribute to manage waste in an environmentally safe manner.
Experts at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, a 50-year-old organisation based in Nairobi, say the dried insect products used in livestock feed enable to reducing feed costs by 40 to 50 per cent.
In Africa, there is a wide scarcity of protein-rich feed additives such as fishmeal, sunflower meal and soybeans, some of which are also consumed by humans. The price of these raw ingredients is growing significantly year on year.