A deal between South African company AgriProtein and international engineering group Christof Industries will see the building of 200 fly farms by 2027.
The US$10 million deal is described as a step in the right direction for sustainable farming and the global use of insects for feed.
The partnership intends to encourage the use of insect protein into mainstream feed for fish, poultry and pets, while also tackling the increasing problem of organic waste.
AgriProtein raises Black Soldier flies in intensive farming systems to convert organic waste into body weight for several uses in agriculture.
The larvae are processed to produce MagMeal, a natural organic animal feed, Magoil, a natural, omega-rich oil for use in feeds, and MagSoil, a high quality compost used in farming and horticulture.
A standard fly farm can host a so-called herd of 8.5 billion flies. It can take in 250 tons of organic waste daily and convert it into 5 000t of MagMeal and 2 000t of MagOil per year.
Christof will deliver factories on a turnkey basis through a high-tech blueprint as AgriProtein’s local engineering, procurement and construction partner.
In accordance with the agreement, fly farms will be set up in Asia, the Middle East and the America’s.
“Waste-to-nutrient technology is starting to get traction and price per ton is key in the fight to replace fishmeal,” said Jason Drew, AgriProtein chief executive.
With oceanic fish stock being depleted worldwide, and protein sources like soya using too much space and natural resources, AgriProtein is aiming to fill a gap by producing sustainable and cost effective protein.
“Replacing fishmeal with insect meal in animal feed allows the oceans to heal and reduces greenhouse gases at every step of the chain – from point of catch to point of sale,” says Drew.