Insect-based feed and fertilizer production via waste transformation for small-holders in Ghana

This project develops economically viable and socio-culturally accepted composting technology and practices. To achieve this objective Black Soldier Fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens L. would be used as ecological engineer in composting of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. The BSF pre-pupae will also be used in producing fish feed in aquaculture.

​​​About the project

  • Background

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    Management of municipal solid waste (MSW) has become an important environmental challenge for municipal authorities in developing countries including Ghana. The rapid increase in urban population and the associated demand for food and jobs, have introduced various agricultural production systems in and around the major cities of West Africa such as Ghana (known as urban and peri-urban agriculture, PUA). PUA faces the problem of low productivity due to inappropriate soil fertility management strategies. Also, the aquaculture industry in Ghana is constrained by availability and affordability of good quality feed. Currently, the available imported commercial feeds are priced beyond US$1.00/kg, making the operations of the numerous small scale fish farmers unattractive and unprofitable. Small scale fish farmers prepare their own feed from kitchen wastes and agro-industrial by-products which are of low quality.

  • Objectives

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    The overall objective of the proposed project is to develop economically viable and socio-culturally accepted composting technology and practices that will transform organic fractions of municipal solid waste into high quality hygienically safe fertilizers and nutritionally rich feed components by using larvae of the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) species Hermetia illucens. To achieve the above overall objective four sub projects will be conducted in Accra. Sub project 1 aims at technological development, production and designing of guidelines for BSF-biochar composting of MSW, at coincidental development of insect larvae meal for use in fish feeds. Sub project 2 aims at assessing the impact of the use of BSF-biochar based compost on crop productivity and the environment. Sub project 3 aims at assessing the effect of the use of BSF-meal on fish productivity and quality. Sub project 4 aims at determining the economic feasibility, farmers perception and willingness to use BSF-composting and insect-meal production technologies.

  • Relevance

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    BSF composting technologies have the advantage of shortening compost maturity periods, producing dual end-products (compost fertilizer for crop production and BSF larvae for aquaculture), providing high rate of economic returns (from combined end-products), and reducing the risk in the composting industry. The technology has the potential to provide a cost effective and sustainable management of municipal solid waste (MSW), by (a) reducing substantially the volume of waste dumped on landfill sites (b) increasing the lifespan of landfills and (c) reducing the cost incurred by waste management companies and municipalities for waste haulage. BSF compost fertilizers could help regenerating the soils by returning organic material and nutrients into it, which will improve crop productivity and quality. The technology will provide sustainable jobs for the teeming unemployed youth in the Greater Accra Region and further improve livelihoods of those already engaged in organic waste recycling, urban and peri-urban agriculture, and aquaculture businesses. Finally, the general public stands to benefit positively through a cleaner urban environment.

  • Geographic scope

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    • Gha ​​ na
  • Project information on P3

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