Biobuu Limited was registered in Tanzania in 2016 after three years of research on the breeding and feeding behaviors of black soldier flies. The company has focused on a factory model that produces high protein chicken and fish feed as well as organic compost. Our model is labor intensive and perfect for Africa. After developing our first factory in Tanzania we are now looking to open factories all across the continent, with our next one opening in Kenya in May 2019.
The Hermetia illucens or Black soldier fly (BSF) is an insect native to Africa that can consume as much as 70% of its own body weight in waste every day. For every kilogram of organic waste it consumes, 50 grams of protein are produced. We use the larvae of this fly to recycle nutrients in food waste and become the protein content for chicken or fish feed.
The global population is growing at unprecedented rates and is estimated to reach 9.1 billion by 2050. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has stated that in order to sustain such a population, world food production will need to rise by 70%.
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 feed depending on the livestock. To grow this feed large swathes of forests are being cleared putting species at risk. In 2010, agricultural production accounted for 70% of the global freshwater consumption with more than half of all this agricultural production going to feed livestock. 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.
Of the feeds currently fed to chickens, pigs and farmed fish, they all require high levels of protein. At the moment that protein comes from Soy or Fish Meal. The inputs to produce both of these consume natural resources and are being consumed at an unsustainable rate.
For soy researchers estimate that millions of hectares of rain-forest has been cleared causing widespread deforestation, species extinction and pollution. According to the WWF, soy is the second largest agricultural driver of deforestation worldwide, behind beef. There was 113 million hectares used to grow the soy produced in 2013/2014, which is an area the size of the UK, France and Germany combined. Around 75% of all that soy was used as animal feed
Poultry and aquaculture use fish meal as feed due to its high protein content. In 2012, around 85% of global fish stocks were over-exploited, depleted, fully exploited or in recovery from exploitation. One way around this would be to stop depleting the natural supply of fish and start to farm fish commercially as we do with other livestock. However, the current feed for farmed fish is made up almost entirely of other fish. Some fish require as much as 1-8 kilograms of wild fish to create 1 kilogram of farmed fish.
Waste is a real challenge for rapidly urbanizing African cities. The proper disposal of waste and necessary infrastructure is a heavy cost for cities and residents that they often cannot afford. For this reason African cities find themselves ranked as some of the dirtiest cities in the world with large amounts of waste not being disposed of properly. What is more, the vast amount of waste in African cities is organic waste, over 60% in most places. When organic waste goes to a landfill it releases serious amounts of methane, a very harmful greenhouse gas.
We believe that we have a solution that can deal with these problems in a more sustainable and cost-effective way. And it all comes down to a fly.