Jamaica could turn to fly farming as a sustainable source of feed for animals such as chickens and fish.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security, announced this week that it is s would partner with Fera Science Limited and the University of the West Indies. develop a regional pilot project to show the value of insect farming.
During the pilot project, according to the FAO, researchers will focus on rearing the black soldier fly. The breeding of these flies should begin around the middle of the year.
“The pilot project will engage farmers, communities, government departments and a range of private sector partners to create best practice for future insect breeders. It will also create a community solution to reduce waste and create affordable and sustainable animal feed,” said Damian Malins. , of Fera Science Limited, said.
Black soldier fly larvae are the main insect to be reared. The fly, found in Jamaica, is considered one of nature’s recyclers as it quickly consumes waste and transforms it into larvae which are enjoyed by chickens and fish as natural food. The larva is a developing insect in its first stage after emerging from the egg.
The FAO said it had recently completed a survey of organic waste in Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago. He said the waste identified in the study could support the growth of sufficient numbers of insects to achieve 50% inclusion in poultry feed for the entire poultry population in the four countries.
Renata Clarke, FAO’s subregional coordinator for the Caribbean, said rearing flies could lead to a reduction in reliance on tons of soybeans and other expensive sources of protein for food. fish and poultry. The FAO said rising costs and limited access to high quality animal feed are constraining factors for the development of the poultry and livestock sectors in the Caribbean and a threat to food security in the Caribbean. the region.
“The Caribbean poultry sector would become less vulnerable to external shocks, more environmentally friendly and create new, economically viable animal feed businesses accessible to small entrepreneurs and communities,” Clarke said.
Dione Newell, a local entomologist, said THE WEEKEND STAR that she was unaware of the insect breeding projects. She said, however, that the insect under consideration – the black soldier fly – is different from house flies.
“Adults don’t fly as much as house flies and we probably won’t see them in our homes and hovering over our food. They are not pests to humans; they only consume liquids such as nectar flowers or they don’t eat at home. all… they also don’t regurgitate food like houseflies and are not likely to spread disease,” Newell said.
The black soldier fly lays about 200 eggs at a time.