[Circular] The future is circular!

The growing human population in the World has led not only to an increase demand for food production, but also an increase of organic waste emission.  The persistent increase in organic waste is regarded as an emerging threat to human health and to biodiversity and ecosystem. The Netherlands strongly believes that a transition to a circular economy is key to reverse and redress most of the challenges which emanate from the production of organic waste.

Circular Economy diagram

A circular economy, in which raw materials are used and reused more effectively, offers a better-balanced global economic growth and ample opportunities for innovation and business worldwide. Going circular benefits us all, including countries on their way to economic growth, where this transition comes with, amongst other benefits, extra jobs. Ultimately, circular economy will result in a more robust and cross-functional economy and an improved quality of life for all.

Circular economy in organic waste

As part of exploring opportunities in the circular economy, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Nairobi's Agriculture department organized a visit to Insectipro in Limuru (Kenya) for the Dar es Salaam Agri team, to learn on the insect farming focusing on commercial production of crickets and Black Soldier Fly Larvae.

InsectiPro Crickets snacks flavours for human consumption

Example of different flavored locust processed snacks for human consumption produced and supplied by InsectiPro in Kenya.

The Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens or BSF) is a species commonly found in the tropics and temperate regions throughout the world. Its name comes from the colour of the adult flies, which are black with metallic reflections.

The most active and important stage during its relatively short life cycle (about 45 days only!) is during the larvae stage. During this period, the larvae rapidly consume nutrients from the organic waste and convert it into larvae biomass, making protein available for consumption by livestock and even humans!   

The Embassy in Dar es Salaam is working together with the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in developing the aquaculture and the poultry sectors . In both sectors, the increase in price of quality animal feed is a cross cutting theme. From the beginning of 2022, efforts have been directed in exploring the alternative sources of protein to address animal feed challenges.  A study was conducted on the alternative sources, and Black Soldiers Fly (BSF), among others, came on the top of the list. To get more insight, the team embarked on a study visit to get more understanding on the waste mobilization, production and processing of the BSF.

Agriculture team observing the production of Black Soldier Fly

Agriculture Team observing the production of BSFL in final stage before harvesting

In Tanzania, the use of BSF larvae in feeding livestock is still minimal despite the presence of huge amount of organic wastes generated annually that can be recycled by BSF into useful animal protein sources. However, various efforts are underway as more efforts are needed, especially on putting mechanisms in place for proper coordination and mobilization of quality organic waste and awareness creation to farmers and feed manufacturers on the BSF larvae potential.

A little ray of light at the end of the tunnel as few companies are already working on the production of BSF for animal feed in Tanzania such as NovaFeed in Dar es salaam, SUGECO in Morogoro, Chasa Farm in Arusha, Chanzi Farm in Arusha and AfriEcofeeds in Babati, Manyara. Insects in Tanzania are also popular not only as animal feed but also as human consumption especially around the lake Victoria where the long horn grasshoppers “senene” is a common snack. Unlocking the question on production for commercial use stands a chance to create a vibrant and robust insects production sector.

Making a circular shift “ The Netherlands Approach”

The Dutch are entrepreneurial people, and collaboration is in our DNA. In the Netherlands, government, knowledge institutions, businesses and civil society work together to make the circular shift. They set aside their own short-term interests to focus on the shared long-term objective: “to become a fully circular economy”. The government facilitates this ambition by helping entrepreneurs to develop, launch and scale-up their circular products and services. Initiatives like the Netherlands Circular Accelerator,  Holland Circular Hotspot and the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE) provides a global public-private platform in which companies, knowledge institutes and (local) authorities collaborate to promote and support international collaboration and knowledge exchange on Dutch circular economy.

Black Soldier Fly adult

The Black Soldier Fly Larvae  at Insectpro in Kenya

Also within the region, Insectpro is actively working with insects and open to working together and partnerships within the neighboring countries. Through collaborations, exchange ideas and learning from each other’s mistakes and successes, impact can be made.

Let’s make this shift together, be part of the positive change because the future is circular!

More information

To learn more about Black Soldier Fly Larvae  within the region, please contact directly the below addresses.

  1. Insectipro Kenya - https://www.insectipro.com/reach-us 
  2. Biobuu Africa - info@biobuu.africa

Useful links

The Embassy provides regular updates on developments in the agriculture sector. To receive the updates follow us on our twitter account @NLAgriTanzania and subscribe to our newsletter by sending an email to dar-lnv@minbuza.nl