The Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) held a workshop to equip farmers on how to convert organic waste into high-quality nutrients for animal feed using Black Soldier Fly (BSF) technology.
The two-day training workshop also gave farmers and agripreneurs the opportunity to learn how to use the same technology to improve soil fertility.
Addressing participants at the workshop, Prof. Samuel Boakye Dampare, the Director-General of GAEC, said that after ten years of research, BNARI has perfected a variety of BSF techniques, from rearing to their use in animal feed and organic crop production.
“We have developed strong institutional capacity through research over the years and are ready to transfer the BSF technology to the Ghanaian public,” he added.
According to Prof. Dampare, research has shown that the black soldier fly can convert organic waste into high-quality nutrients for pet foods, fish and poultry feeds, and use the residue/frass as fertilizer to enrich the soil.
“The larvae of the BSF have large and powerful chewing mouthparts that allow them to feed on decomposing organic waste such as organic manure, chicken manure, restaurant/domestic food waste, and fruit and vegetable waste etc.,” he explained.
“I urge you to be very observant while you implement this technology and promptly notify BNARI of any new thing you notice during its application in your unique setting,” he advised.
On his part, the Deputy Director of BNARI, Dr. Fidelis Ocloo, stated that estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) show that one-third of food produced for human consumption is wasted globally, amounting to approximately 1.3 billion tons per year.
“In Ghana, for example, our fruit and vegetable markets generate a significant amount of organic waste. This BSF insect can be used to reduce the volume of waste generated by 50-60% while also producing useful products like protein feed for farm animals,” he stressed.
He congratulated participants for taking the time to learn about this technology and urged them to put the knowledge acquired into good practice.
Facilitators led participants through topics such as the biology and benefits of black soldier fly, mass rearing, process of black soldier fly, housing and farm management of black soldier fly, post-processing of black soldier fly larval residue, and compost production.
Participants received hands-on training from experienced scientists. Certificates were issued to participants after completing the theoretical and practical sessions of the training. In addition, participants were equipped with a step-by-step training manual.