Insectus – Insects against Hidden Hunger

Insectus – Insects against Hidden Hunger

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Short description

Sated, but physically weak? To combat hidden hunger in Africa we started breeding the black soldier fly as quantitative and qualitative food supplement. From waste, we generate food!

Which problem do we aim to solve and why?

Our project mitigates three main problems in developing countries. Firstly, we reduce hidden hunger in Africa by making a cheap diet, rich in protein and nutrients, available. Secondly, we can mostly use organic waste to produce the black soldier fly, hence transforming waste into life-saving food. And thirdly, we create urgently needed jobs with the help of a customized business concept.

Our solution

We are picking up an idea that has long been fruitful in the Asian world: insects as an alternative source of food. We use the black soldier fly (BSF) because it is characterized by very high amounts of proteins and particularly micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, calcium and important vitamins. In addition to the high nutritional value, their life cycle is an easy-to-learn breeding procedure. It produces large amounts of biomass from any organic waste in a short time, which is then processed and sold in the form of flour. Local community members are familiarized with the system through workshops and trained to the extent that they can handle the work steps alone. Due to the local production, an unbeatable price and the aim of education, we have already succeeded in establishing a market in Zambia.

Why is our idea innovative, new and different?

We distinguish ourselves through two innovations. In Africa, it is not yet a common practice to produce insects industrially for human consumption, although it is culturally anchored in many countries to collect and consume larvae found in the nature. Furthermore, we offer two systems to make the insects accessible to everyone: a farm that can provide a whole village, as well as the possibility that households can provide themselves with their own small farm.

How is our idea feasible?

We will look for an initial farmer among the locals. Together with him we will build a farm and accompany the first growth cycle. Through the workshops the goal is the independent management of the farm. The community farm will produce about 100 kg / week, depending on its size. A sales market is created through targeted promotion and education. Following the train-the-trainer concept, additional farmers will be trained over time and additional locations will be opened.

Which technologies, channels or methods are we planning to use?

Technology: Stages separate insect breeding.

Channels for marketing: HealthTalks in hospitals; convincing CommunityLeaders to take up this idea and carry it further; inspiring people through workshops and recruit them as farmers; free food and public tastings as icebreakers

Methods: App as a reference book and playfully to insect breeding

What outcome and what improvements do we expect? How do we measure these?

The ratio of the amount of bio-waste and larvae used measures the effectiveness of the farm. The sold larvae indicate the additional per capita intake of proteins. This will be checked with an accounting system. In addition, the sales figures reflect the financial remuneration of the entrepreneurs. The improvement of general health is not measurable in the short term. In the long term, a decline in deficiency symptoms is expected.

Our budget planning & acquisition of potential partners

Partners from the health sector. In addition, a network is a major advantage in various areas of public life. Based on our experience in Zambia: 3 trips in the 1st year, construction of 2 large farms, starting capital for the small farms are in total about 11,000 €, depending on the desired farm size.

Insectus - Insects against Hidden Hunger

Team:   Julian Watkinson, Lea Bergmann, Vincent Reda, Lisa Schröder, Daphne Dimitriadis, Kolja Hedrich, Alexander Massing


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