Ecodudu, a Kenyan waste-to-value company, is to receive new investment from Greentec Capital Partners to scale up its production of insect meal.
With recycled organic matter as its starting material, Ecodudu produces high-quality insect meal protein for livestock feeds, as well as organic fertilizer.
The firm uses its innovative process to grow black soldier fly larvae on the waste material. Once they have reached their full size, the larvae are dried to form a high-protein biomass. This is processed into Dudu meal. With a protein density higher than soybean meal, this is a valuable ingredient for animal feeds. The material left behind after the larvae have been harvested is turned by Ecodudu into an organic fertilizer known as Shamba mix.
By using this process, the firm helps to address the global challenges of unmet protein demand, organic waste management and environmental conservation, according to Ecodudu.
Scale of the investment is not disclosed, but Greentec Capital says it will work to support Ecodudu to scale up its business to the next stage.
Based in Frankfurt, Germany, GreenTec Capital Partners invests in African startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with a focus on combining social and environmental impact with financial success. The organization aims to help its African partners to implement and adapt the latest technologies to their models. Greentec aspires to grow 400 companies by 2023, allowing them to extend their value chains, and have more local impact.
Africa increases insect meal production
Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Sanergy is also producing insect meal from black soldier fly larvae. Farmers report that the meal increases the laying rate of their hens.
Last year, French-based biotech firm, Cycle Farms set up its first insect meal production site in Ghana. Aquaculture — particularly tilapia — is the target market for this production facility.
Global interest in insect meal for animal feeds
Fish, poultry and swine can all benefit from insect meal in their diets, according to a scientific review, but there may be some limitation on inclusion levels.
Another hurdle to wider use of insect meals is the registration of these potentially widely variable ingredients. Insect meals are already approved for inclusion in animal feeds in Canada, but the authorities there have been working on ways to streamline the registration process for these products.
Interest in expanding the potential of insect meals is not confined to Africa.
In December 2018, production began at the first insect meal plant in the U.S. Set up by EnviroFlight in Mayesville, Kentucky, the facility also produces insect meal from black soldier flies. Last month, Darling Ingredients acquired EnviroFlight.