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Using organic waste to produce protein as a feed supplement to commercial livestock breeding Black Soldier Flies (Hermetia illucens).

Brings eco-friendly solutions involving rural communities and increasing their incomes, using organic waste to produce protein

Photo of Juan Pablo Ospina Yepes
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When insect protein enters to agribusiness, it will be able to be marketed in two ways: the first one is through direct sales, this means that the feed will be putting on sale in cooperatives and agricultural stores. If we decided to sell it by this method. We only need to find an ally or hire a flour factory to make it more attractive to livestock. The second one option consists on selling the protein to a feed industry . If the flour is sold by this way, they can add value using additives that become more attractive to pet (such as fish essence to cats). The greatest source of revenue of the company is selling flour insects; Nevertheless; We can earn revenue from fertilizer resulting from the conversion of organic waste and manure, which will be used in crops; By this way communities receive a fair price for the purchase of flour and the company remains sustainable. Furthermore, when we achieve our first year working as a company we hope to start the production line of beneficial insects that bring us profitable revenues.


Community will be the principal beneficiaries of this project. because they harvesting the maggots and increase their income when they will sell the protein. Our first target market will be the commercial livestock. We need new ways to feed livestock. In 2015, agricultural production accounted for 80% of the global freshwater consumption with more than half going towards feeding livestock in the form of grain feeds.


Kenya and Ghana


  • Yes


  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year


  • Not yet.


Winner of a Scholarship to participate on the Global Competitiveness Leadership program at Georgetown University, Scholar at foundation Carolina (AECID) for the Master in Advanced Technologies for agroforestry development at the University of Valladolid (Spain), Agricultural engineer from Colombia

General Description/ Executive Summary

EMERGE is a social initiative, which first aim is to empower rural communities by training them in the breeding of insects using urban organic waste to produce protein that will be selled to commercial livestock and whose revenues are invested at the same communities, helping them to increase their income and changing realities to reach high quality education and social impact. Our goal is to increase rural communities’ income. EMERGE feels real committed with rural communities, so will invested in young rural students, encourage them to access to Universities; Furthermore, our second objective is breeding beneficial insects and give them to farmers to diminish the use of agrochemical products.

We feel commitment to impact communities with this project. Our farmers need to increase their income and improve their life quality; they need professionals with creative and feasible ideas. According to FAO’s Animal Feed Resources Information System (now called Feedipedia) provides information about the use of insects as animal and fish feed, including Hermetia illucens. Information on source, processing, feeding guidelines, feeding experiments, feeding guidelines and nutrients characteristics are available under the category “animal products”. For example, Black soldier flies They can be used commercially to solve a number of environmental problems associated with manure and other organic waste, such as reducing manure mass, moisture content and offensive odours. At the same time, they provide high-value feedstuff for cattle, pig, poultry and fish (Newton et al., 2005).

Our company is well prepared to start a new social business and to change realities. Our organization has been thinking over this idea for the past years. I am working in biological control developing new diets to breed insects and I am almost finishing my master where I am working hard on making this project more attractive and executable.

Our core business is breeding insects, We´ve been testing large-scale maggot production for the past two years and a half. As a side project we have tested different household bins and both the project founders have their own household bins operating effectively at their own house (we call it “entomofarm”). We know it works, and is easy to do.

if our company is not able to sing an agreement with local governed (to collect organic waste) we can use manure: The harvested and processed black soldier fly larvae, valued at approximately US$200 per ton, can also be more economically transported than manure (valued at US$10–20 per ton) (Tomberlin and Sheppard, 2001). In confined bovine facilities, the larvae were found to reduce available phosphorous by 61–70 percent and nitrogen by 30–50 percent (Sheppard, Newton and Burtle, 2008). In a field trial conducted in Georgia, United States, black soldier fly larval 94 Edible insects: future prospects for food and feed security digestion of pig manure reduced nitrogen by 71 percent, phosphorous by 52 percent and potassium by 52 percent, and aluminium, boron, cadmium, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, lead, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, sodium, sulphur and zinc by 38–93 percent. Thus, the larvae are able to reduce pollution potential by 50–60 percent or more. Additionally, the larvae modify the microflora of manure, potentially reducing harmful bacteria (Erickson et al., 2004; Liu et al., 2008). For example, larval activity significantly reduced Escherichia coli 0157:H7 and Salmonella enterica in hen manure (Erickson et al., 2004). Sheppard, Newton and Burtle (2008) suggested that the larvae contain natural antibiotics similar to the larvae of the common green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata) used in maggot debridement therapy for cleansing human wounds, a method increasingly practiced because of the prevalence of drug-resistant bacterial infections (Sherman and Wyle, 2006).

To sum up, we invite you to believe in this social project. We believe in executable sustainable solutions which change realities and create social impact.

Product production base of the company begins from rural communities; Using rural extension, the farmers will be training to produce and harvesting insects. Two agricultural technicians will be hiring to oversee production and keep abreast of the community.

Three months later, the product will be taken to a center coupling and it will be transporting to the one of the agribusiness partner where they received some adjustment and finally it will be putting into the market to commercial livestock sector could obtain it.


Newton, L., Sheppard, C., Watson, D.W. & Burtle, G. 2005. Using the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens, as a value-added tool for the management of swine manure. North Carolina, North Carolina State University. (available at waste_mgt/smithfield_projects/phase2report05/cd, web%20files/A2.pdf).

FAO/WUR. 2012. Expert consultation meeting: assessing the potential of insects as food and feed in assuring food security. P. Vantomme, E. Mertens, A. van Huis & H. Klunder, eds. Summary report, 23–25 January 2012, Rome. Rome, FAO.

Tomberlin, J.K. & Sheppard, D.C. 2001. Lekking behavior of the black soldier fly (Diptera: StratiooMEATidae). Florida Entomologist, 84(4): 729–730.

Sherman, R.A. & Wyle, F.A. 1996. Low-cost, low maintenance rearing of maggots in hospitals, clinics, and schools. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 54: 38–41.

Erickson, M.C., Islam, M., Sheppard, C., Liao, J. & Doyle, M.P. 2004. Reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis in chicken manure by larvae of the black soldier fly. J. Food Prot., 67(4): 685–690.

Liu, Q., Tomberlin, J.K., Brady, J.A., Sanford, M.R. & Yu, Z. 2008. Black soldier fly (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) larvae reduce Escherichia coli in dairy manure. Environ. Entomol., 37(6): 1525–1530.

Sherman, R.A. & Wyle, F.A. 2006. Low-cost, low maintenance rearing of maggots in hospitals, clinics, and schools. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg., 54: 38–41.

Offenberg, J. 2011. Oecophylla smaragdina food conversion efficiency: prospects for ant farming. Journal of Applied Entomology, 135(8): 575–581.


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