Partnering across the Sanitation Value Chain – Animal Feed and Agriprotein

This is Part 2 of our series on how Sanergy works with partners from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge. Part 1 can be read here. David and Fausto are in India this week to participate at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair: India.  

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Laura and Joseph check details such as humidity, temperature, and ensure a conducive environment for the flies to thrive.

Over the last year, Sanergy has partnered with Agriprotein, a Gates Foundation’ Reinvent the Toilet Challenge grantee, to undertake research on producing a domestically-produced, protein-rich animal feed from human waste.

There is huge demand for affordable, protein-rich animal feed in East Africa. At present, most animal feed is imported and, as a result, farmers pay significantly higher prices. To make matters worse, most animal feed for livestock is produced from fishmeal, which is both limited in supply and damaging to the environment.

So how does this work? The Fresh Life Toilet (FLT) provides 30kg of faeces when it is full.  The Black Soldier Fly (BSF) eggs hatch in the nursery and larvae are placed on the faecal matter from which they feed off. BSF are an especially ideal species of fly because the larvae eat all organic matter and the flies are not vectors for disease.  At the end of the feeding process (about 3 weeks), the larvae turn into pupae. These pupae are collected,  dried and can then be used as a protein-rich (45%) animal feed for chicken, pigs or fish. The remaining waste from the process is turned into an odorless compost.

Sanergy, led by Laura Kimani, an Environmental Engineer, and Joseph Ouko, our R&D Assistant, has partnered with Agriprotein to set up the initial trial in Kenya. The trial has produced strong results: an ever-growing colony of BSF which is being monitored closely. Laura and Joseph check details such as humidity, temperature, and ensure a conducive environment for the flies to thrive. The end-product will also need to undergo quality testing to doubly ensure that it is free from pathogens and safe for consumption.

Laura says, “Our work with Black Solder Flies mirrors our work with the Fresh Life Toilets – we are providing a high quality product that is at low-cost to those who both need and demand the products – in this case it is the farmers of Kenya.”

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