Maggots: a sustainable animal feed

first_imgThe common housefly could be a bigfactor in easing the strain on natural marine resources, if the Drew brothers have their way. (Image: Shadowness)  MEDIA CONTACTS • Jason Drew  AgriProtein  + 27 21 422 1887 or +27 83 700 5255 RELATED ARTICLES • New bug leaps into history books • Malaria-proof mosquito a reality • Tanzania’s ‘butterfly effect’ • Pick n Pay greens seafood operationsEmily van RijswijckAn enterprising duo has developed a sustainable alternative to fishmeal and soya livestock feeds, in the process helping to ease the pressure on precious natural resources which are constantly under strain from the growing human population.Originally from the UK, brothers David and Jason Drew are now based in South Africa.For the last three years the two entrepreneurs have been researching the potential of protein-rich fly larvae or maggots as a natural replacement for soya and fishmeal, the two most commonly used sources of protein animal feed used by industrial farmers.Their Cape-based company AgriProtein produces maggot meal, a completely natural protein feed for animals. Maggot meal is obtained by harvesting fly larvae fed on organic waste just before the insects turn into pupae. To make one ton of the meal, about five tons of maggots are required.The larvae are dried and then processed into a fine rich brown powder, to be sold to farmers in 50-kilogramme bags.In terms of nutrient value the product matches that of fishmeal and is superior to soya.Research and developmentThe fly farm and production plant is based in Stellenbosch and for the moment is producing only for research and development purposes, confirms Jason Drew.The facility produces two tons of meal a week. Research is conducted with the help of the University of Stellenbosch‘s Animal Nutritional Department.“We plan to start up a full scale production plant in 2013, which will produce 28 tons per day of the dry product,” says Drew.The company intends to open plants in South Africa and Germany, the latter country because it is one of the world’s leading green nations.According to Drew, the demand for protein feed is almost limitless, and one of the biggest chicken producers in Germany is already showing keen interest.His only concern is whether AgriProtein will be able to keep up with the projected demand of over 2 000 tons per month.Should other countries show interest, the Drew brothers will consider rolling out the technology to them as well.So far, AgriProtein’s research has shown that larvae protein produces better weight gain and lower gizzard erosion scores than fishmeal. Gizzard erosion is a dietary deficiency disease affecting younger birds.Nutrient recyclingAt the heart of AgriProtein’s approach is a relatively new concept: nutrient recycling.Increases in global food demand and pressing environmental challenges have caused prices of both fishmeal and soya feeds to soar in recent years. Fishmeal, for example, has on average almost tripled in price since 2002, according to the IndexMundi data portal.Using organic waste to create a new source of protein – such as animal protein feed – is one way in which we can save the world’s declining fish resources, believes Drew.At the AgriProtein plant the flies are fed waste from abattoirs. This natural way of disposing of the waste also helps the suppliers to cut down on their costs. To ensure success of the venture, the company runs two programmes, for breeding and production.Under natural conditions one female fly can lay about 750 eggs a week and the larva increases in weight by over 400 times in just a few days.Maggots are harvested just before the pupal stage, or after about 72 hours. They are then dried, milled and packed. Because birds and fish eat larvae in the wild, the magmeal is easily digested.AgriProtein uses three types of flies: the common housefly (Musca domestica); the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) and the blow fly (Calliphoridae family), each of which prefers to break down a specific type of organic waste.The end product contains nine essential amino acids, according to the AgriProtein website.And that hint of fishmeal which is sometimes so detectable in battery-reared chickens will also be a thing of the past as maggot meal has a completely neutral taste and odour, Drew confirms.Amazing creaturesLike other insects the fly goes through three phases to reach adulthood: egg, larva, pupa and then adult.One of the most fascinating aspects of these creatures is the ammonia which is produced by fly larvae, a natural secretion used by the creatures to kill bacteria.In the AgriProtein plant the strong smell of ammonia is a by-product of the production process but one which the Drew brothers still plan to tap into as well.“We are looking at ways in which to harvest the ammoniated air to make a natural bleach,” says Drew.last_img read more

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Proteas begin life without Jacques Kallis

first_img30 January 2014 South Africa’s cricket selectors on Wednesday named all-rounders Wayne Parnell and Ryan Mclaren in a 15-man squad for the forthcoming three-test series against Australia, which begins at SuperSport Park in Centurion outside Pretoria on 12 February. With the great Jacques Kallis having retired from test cricket, the biggest question surrounding the Proteas’ line-up has been about how to replace him. While doing that properly is, frankly, impossible, the selectors did the expected by naming Mclaren and Parnell in the line-up.Limited test experience Parnell has previously played in three tests, while McLaren has appeared in just one match, ironically with Parnell in January 2010 at The Wanderers where Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel spearheaded South Africa to victory by an innings and 74 runs over England. McLaren boasts a superior first class record to Parnell, averaging 30.63 with the bat to Parnell’s 22.34 and 25.47 with the ball to Parnell’s 32.94. However, McLaren, at just shy of 31 years of age, is over seven years older than his fellow all-rounder. What those figures reveal very clearly is that neither man will be able to come any near to emulating Kallis with the bat. However, they may be able to match him with the ball. Three other players in the squad are in a similar class of all-rounder, with off-spinner and left-handed batsman JP Duminy offering more with the bat than the others. Robin Peterson brings the option of left-arm spin and a left-handed batsman, while Vernon Philander, the world’s number one ranked test bowler, has shown on a number of occasions that he is more than useful with a bat in his hands. ‘We’re not looking for another Jacques Kallis’ In an interview with ESPN Cricinfo’s Firdose Moonda, Proteas’ coach Russell Domingo explained: “The mental shift is going to be just as important as the statistical shift. We’re not looking for another Jacques Kallis. We’re looking for someone to step up to the plate.” Underlining the hole that Kallis has left, he added: “It’s not going to be a set strategy like we had in the past. Something’s got to give. Either we will have four seamers, no spinner or only six batters.” ‘We want to stay constant’ “We want to stay constant to the brand of cricket we have played over the last few years that has brought us such success,” Cricket South Africa selection convener Andrew Hudson said in a statement. “I believe that this squad covers all possible options we may wish to exercise, as well as the conditions we are likely to encounter.” With an eye to the future, Hudson added: “Two other players, Beuran Hendricks and Simon Harmer, will be joining the squad to assist with the preparation leading into the first test match. “They are both highly talented cricketers who will benefit from being introduced to the Proteas environment. They also possess individual skills that will assist the team with their preparation for the Australian attack we are likely to face.”SOUTH AFRICA TEST SQUAD Graeme Smith (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras, capt), Hashim Amla (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), AB de Villiers (Nashua Titans), JP Duminy (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Faf du Plessis (Nashua Titans), Dean Elgar (Chevrolet Knights), Rory Kleinveldt (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Ryan McLaren (Chevrolet Knights), Morne Morkel (Nashua Titans), Wayne Parnell (Chevrolet Warriors), Alviro Petersen (bizhub Highveld Lions), Robbie Peterson (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Vernon Philander (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Dale Steyn (Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras), Thami Tsolekile (bizhub Highveld Lions)last_img read more

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A Higher Standard

first_img Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in For a number of years, Rob and Fiona were content to live in a simple Maine cottage a stone’s throw from the water’s edge. In recent years, however, they had tried having a new house designed to accommodate their changing needs, but quickly got mired in results that were much larger and more expensive than what they wanted. After tiring of these unsuccessful ventures, they came to my firm seeking a compact, modern, extremely energy-efficient home that would blend into the tightly woven neighborhood where they planned to root themselves for the years to come.We set to work applying our studio’s motto—beautiful, sustainable, attainable—to the project. Our early meetings quickly centered on the meaning of cottage in the 21st century. We wondered if the term still defined the classic British buildings of Rob and Fiona’s youth, which so successfully fit between clusters of lavender and privet hedges, or if cottage had come to mean something bolder and simpler with less of the romantic touchstones of 19thcentury construction. We concluded that we needed to draw on each of these ideas, and that the house would need to be simple, tough, and practical, in keeping with the Maine life that Rob and Fiona love. Double-duty design. The home’s front (photo above) is simple and traditional in detail and scale to fit its setting, while its back rises dramatically to capture light and views. We thought that a house approximately 1800 sq. ft. in size would be able to meet their budget and allow for the quality of design and construction they desired. Early on, it became evident that their goals included very low energy use, nontoxic materials, a quiet and simple aesthetic, bedrooms that faced the water,… center_img This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberslast_img read more

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