IITA, Dutch group train stakeholders on insect farming



IITA, Dutch group train stakeholders on insect farming


By Adewale Owoade


The Business Incubation Platform of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA-BIP) and the New Generation Nutrition (NGN) Netherlands have organised a four-day Training of Trainers on Black Soldier Fly (BSF) farming.


The training, organised under the Insect4Feed Project, is to prepare a group of trainers who will train other entrepreneurs on Black Soldier Fly farming.


The Insects4Feed Impact Cluster, funded by the Netherlands government, aims to address the growing need for a local, sustainable and affordable animal protein source for the fish and poultry feed industry in Nigeria.


It also targets creating job and income opportunities in the insect farming value chain.


Chief Executive Officer of IITA-BIP, Dr Debo Akande, explained that Insect4Feed Project will create cheaper, local and alternative feeds to reduce the cost of poultry and fish farming.


Akande, represented by the Head, Administration and Corporate Governance, BIP, Mr Wole Oladokun, said the training will also benefit farmers in other African countries.


“Our target is smallholder farmers, we want to make life easier for them while engaging in their farming activities, the agribusiness, making agriculture a business.


“When it is a business, one of the things you do in business is to minimise your cost and maximise your profit.


“In a way, this innovation is to minimise the cost. Instead of buying the high earned fertiliser, they use this and get better results with lesser cost.


“We are targeting farmers not just in Nigeria, because what we do in BIP is now in Central Africa Hub, in about 16 countries of Africa we are reaching out to farmers.


“Our definition of smallholder farmers are people who cannot compete in terms of skills, in terms of finances with mechanise farming.


“We start from them and we grow them until they become big as well,” Akande said.

Speaking also, the Project Lead, NGN Netherlands, Mr John Amole, said the project is to build the capacity of the insect entrepreneur, and that livestock that feeds on larvae are good intake for human consumption.


“The project focused on Black Soldier Fly, larvae production as feed for the livestock, what this project is all about is to build the capacity of the insect entrepreneur.


“What I mean by that is those that will invest in the insect business and begin to make money from it by making use of the organic waste.


“The Black Soldier Larvae that we talked about converts the organic waste to food which either fish or poultry or birds or pigs can feed on as their own source of protein.


“What we are also doing as part of the advocacy is that eating fish or birds that feed on larvae doesn’t affect human beings,” Amole said.


Similarly, a resource person from ProEnto, Mr Cies Rosham, assured smallholder farmers of a viable platform to grow the insects to boost production.


“We would achieve a platform where we can train smallholder farmers, fish farmers, poultry farmers, where they can be trained to produce their insects.


“This will contribute to cost in feed reduction and provide a natural ingredient for their animals.


“I think it is very important to mention that we are actually giving back rejuvenated farming.


“What we are doing with insect production, we are not using resources, we don’t need fertiliser to produce proteins, we don’t need water.


“It is a natural process of using natural resources and nutrients that is based on our organic food waste.


“Organic by-products from agriculture activities, converting them into something useful to form biogas facilities or compose things,” Rosham said.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NGN, a social enterprise in insect sector development in the Netherlands and African countries, is the lead partner responsible for implementing the project while IITA-BIP is responsible for the project’s training and entrepreneurship development component. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)


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