Well, the main product used here in Tanzania is fishmeal and the price has soared in the past few years, making it very difficult for small-scale farmers to feed the chickens the protein they need. Often when we have done price checks on fishmeal, companies haven't even had any available and were waiting to import the fish from India.
Regarding Soymeal, the country produces a very small amount of soymeal currently. Anything produced is generally bought up quickly during harvest time by large companies. So, small-scale farmers usually never get their hands on it. Tanzania is also importing soymeal from countries that are seeing biodiversity loss. There is definitely room to expand soymeal production in Tanzania without significant biodiversity loss, but growth in the market is going very slow. And then you still have water issues.
The world's population is growing and urbanizing at unprecedented rates, it is now estimated that the global population will reach 9.1 billion by 2050. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has stated that in order to sustain such a huge and increasingly wealthy population, world food production will need to rise by 70%. The only problem is we may not have enough resources for that. Producing meat takes a lot of input. For instance, in order to produce 1 kilogram of meat it takes anywhere between 2 – 7 kilograms of grain feed depending on the livestock. Nearly 40% of all grain produced in the world is fed to animals. To grow some of the grains needed to feed our desire for meat, large swathes of Amazonian forest are being cleared. In 2010, agricultural production accounted for 70% of the global freshwater consumption. More than half of all this agricultural production goes towards feeding livestock in the form of grain feeds; maize, wheat, soy, etc. Studies have shown that at the current rate of consumption, there will not be enough available fresh water to irrigate croplands to feed estimated populations in 2050. Soymeal is the main culprit as it is needed for the protein content. If you go to the WWF website they have a whole section dedicated the Soymeal. To quote them:
"In South America, almost 4 million hectares of forests are destroyed every year, 2.6 million of them in Brazil alone. Although this is lower than in the 1990s, it is still far too high and can largely be blamed on heavily soy-dependent livestock farming." Moreover, in 2012, around 85% of global fish stocks were over-exploited, depleted, fully exploited or in recovery from exploitation. When you add Tanzania's problem with dynamite fishing and illegal trawling it makes sense that the price for fishmeal has gone from around 500 USD per ton in 2005 to over 1,500 today. There simply aren't enough fish to go around.
Our method also has the added benefit of reducing the methane released by organic waste and saving landfill space.
To be concise, the world’s growing population, combined with its insatiable desire for beef, poultry and fish is unsustainable. We need another way to feed livestock.