AgriProtein is a business that takes the concept of turning waste into nutrition. The company is busy setting up the world’s first commercial-scale fly farming operation in Philippi. A very successful pilot operation has already been running and the new venture is taking shape at the company’s premises in Rochester Road. Already orders for the products are coming in. The business runs on the principle that it is possible to harness the nutrients in our food waste to make chicken and fish feed readily and economically available. In addition, using up what we toss out as waste is a great answer to easing our overloaded waste system. AgriProtein feeds vegetable waste to flies on an industrial scale – around 9 billion flies is an almost unimaginable “herd” that to manage – and the resulting mature fly larvae are harvested and turned into feedstock while the rich, loamy soil enhancer derived from the digestive processes of the larvae is turned into fertiliser.
Fly larvae are a natural food of both chicken and fish and the cycle demonstrates that what we dump from our kitchens without a second thought in fact has economic value that can be harnessed.
In association with Stellenbosch University, the company is doing research into other uses for fly larvae such as healing lame sheep with the natural anti-inflammatory properties of larvae and reducing anaemia in piglets by adding the iron-rich larvae feed to hog feeds.