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World’ largest fly farm producing fish feed to be launched


From flies like this, AgriProtein will produce fish feed. (Photo: AgriProtein)

Click on the flag for more information about South AfricaSOUTH AFRICA
Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 01:40 (GMT + 9)
The first commercial fly farm in the world will begin operations in South Africa, as part of a project to produce sustainable feed for fish and chicken from fly larvae.
AgriProtein, a South African farming company, proposes a double advantage with its so-called MagMeal product: It can replace costly fishmeal by a sustainable, natural source of protein for farmed animals as well as eliminate garbage.
The plant can house more than 8 billion flies and produce 22 tonnes of larvae every day. The company has an agreement with Cape Town’s waste disposal agency, helping them to deal with the garbage of a city of four million inhabitants.
The process is based on common flies laying their eggs on garbage. These eggs rapidly turn into larvae, eating the waste as they grow. It is calculated that one kilogram of eggs becomes 380 kilograms of larvae in just three days.
After a few days, before they become flies, the larvae are collected, washed, and pressurised into MagMeal, becoming feed for chicken and fish farms.
Jason Drew, entrepreneur and co-founder of AgriProtein stated, "During the industrial revolution you either were environmentalist or a capitalist, and you couldn’t be both. But I am a capitalist and an environmentalist the same time."
The company, which received funds from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has raised USD 11million to build its first two commercial farms, which will each house 8.5 billion flies. These facilities will be the first in a series of 40 such farms to be developed.
The business is also supported by private companies such as Australia’s Twynam Group, Germany’s s.Oliver group, Business Insider reported.
Although AgriProtein has South African approval, it is still banned in Europe due to a regulation prohibiting the feeding of livestock with processed meat, and MagMeal falls into this category.
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