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A KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE VISIT TO SCOPE BLACK SOLDIER FLY

The National Agriculture Research Institute (NARI) is co-hosting an international knowledge exchange visit by researchers and scientists from Kenya this week to investigate potential for developing insect-based technology for feed production and organic waste management in the country.

The delegation consisting of researchers and scientists from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) and private sector actors will hold discussions with local PNG researchers and stakeholders on the potential for Black Soldier Fly (BSF) as an organic waste management and animal feed technology.

The visit is a high-level ‘meet and greet’ allowing ICIPE scientists to follow up on discussions held earlier this year in Kenya on the of potential BSF project may look like.

Representatives from NARI were part of a delegation from the Pacific including representatives of University of Technology of Papua New Guinea (UNITECH), Vanuatu Agriculture Research Centre (VARC), Fiji Ministry of Agriculture and Waterways (MOA) who visited Kenya earlier this year to evaluate the potential for BSF and to explore opportunities to collaborate in advancing circular economy practices.

Research has shown that BSF larvae can digest organic materials such as biodegradable waste of plant or animal origin and convert into harvestable insect larval mass, providing a protein feed source for fish, chickens, and pigs.

An earlier study undertaken by NARI has shown BSF larvae reduces household kitchen waste and animal manure and provided nutritional value protein, fat and energy content for small-scale livestock production.

Accessing affordable, adequate, and appropriate feed for livestock has been a challenge for many smallholder farmers in the country.

The initiative with NARI is supported by Australian Government through ACIAR, which is the sole funder of an icipe-led project up scaling benefits of insect-based animal feed technologies for sustainable agriculture intensification in Africa.

The delegation will visit Lae from the 1-2 July and Port Moresby on 3-4 July to hold talks with researchers at NARI and other relevant stakeholders and visit selected waste disposal areas and farms that grow fish, chickens, and pigs to see potential for developing BSF technology and waste management options.

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