The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform attended the launch of the AgriProtein Commercial Facility in Philippi East, Cape Town, recently. AgriProtein is leading a new industry called nutrient recycling. Using fly larvae fed on existing organic waste, AgriProtein has developed and tested a new large scale and sustainable source of natural protein. This innovation is one of the projects of the Technology Innovation Agency.
Industrial farming of chickens, pigs and fish relies on protein from two sources; land-based grains and marine-captured fishmeal. Agricultural protein requires vast amounts of land and water, while the sea-caught alternative has material consequences for marine life. Increased global food demand and environmental limits have caused prices of both protein sources to soar in recent years.
The bio-conversion process takes organic waste streams from food factories, supermarkets, farms and restaurants, and recycles these into valuable products: an insect-based complete protein � MagMeal�, an extracted fat � MagOil� and a rich residual soil conditioner � MagSoil�.
Larvae are a natural food for birds in the wild and fish in streams. Their nutritional composition is as good as that of fishmeal and far better than that of soya. MagMeal� is an entirely natural super feed: it has excellent weight take-on and digestibility properties and is enjoyed by farmed fish, chickens, pigs and pets for its natural palatability.
AgriProtein has been developing its insect-based protein products since 2009. In 2016, the world's first industrial scale insect recycling site went live in Cape Town with the capacity to divert 100 tonnes of waste organics from landfill per day and produce over 2 000 tonnes of MagMeal� per year.
After eight years of research and development tests and trials, AgriProtein is set to be a world leader in this industry. A globally applicable, local waste-to-protein solution, the plant will produce right where it is needed � whereas fishmeal is typically used 10 000 kilometres from its point of capture. AgriProtein's MagMeal� and MagOil� are not only great natural feed ingredients, but environmentally game-changing.
Nutrient recycling delivers reduced land fill, lower pressure on marine stocks, and has a far lower carbon impact. The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology, Ms Lindiwe Maseko, said: The plant is an eye opener as we never thought that protein could be derived from worms. I am very impressed as this innovation is the first in the world and puts South Africa on the map. The plant contributes to the local economy by employing people from Philippi. These people are then trained on-site and in turn train other people who are coming into the industry. We are looking forward to the next launch in Gauteng � and as the Portfolio Committee we will advocate for more resources and funds for such initiatives.
Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa