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Updated Jun 25, 2020
Local residents buy and sell fish at the Malindi Fish Market in Stone Town, on the island of Zanzibar, on December 28, 2017.  GULSHAN KHAN / AFP
Local residents sell and buy fish at Malindi Fish Market in Stone Town on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. (Gulshan Khan/AFP)

NovFeed, a Tanzanian company, has begun developing a low-cost, sustainable fish feed by raising black soldier fly maggots, then drying and grinding them up into a high-protein powder.

NovFeed co-founder Elisha Otaigo explains that these maggots have a higher protein, fat and micronutrient content than housefly maggots. Unlike houseflies, black soldier flies do not transmit diseases and reach maturity quite quickly. Just two to three weeks of feeding them organic waste gets the larvae to its highest nutrient state, and then they can be processed, to be used as an ingredient in fish feed.

 

Fish contributes to almost a quarter of the population’s animal protein diet

 

Animal products make up about 3.4 percent of Tanzania’s total exports, of which fish products make up the vast majority. The Tanzanian fishing industry also provides up to 4 million jobs—about 35 percent of all rural employment—and fish contributes to almost a quarter of the population’s animal protein diet.

Recent years have seen a decline in fisheries due to mismanagement and rising costs, making NovFeed’s innovation a boon to some of Tanzania’s poorest citizens.

 

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