Photo: Left to Right Dr Ian Banks, Karin Andse, Lee-Handra Johnson, Dr Cameron Richards, Dr Christo Wiese.
The worlds first commercial waste to protein fly farm is nearing completion in Cape Town, South Africa and by ‘herd size’ will be the largest farming operation on the planet. As part of its commitment to ongoing research and development in the emerging nutrient recycling industry, AgriProtein Group has launched an initial five year R&D program to drive its ongoing process improvement work as well as to spearhead research for the group globally. Dr Christo Wiese, one of Africa’s leading entrepreneurs and business people attended the opening of the US$1 million R&D initiative.
The team is headed by entomologist Dr Cameron Richards, complimented by Dr Ian Banks, and a team of four researchers and six support staff.
The team will work on a wide range of R&D initiatives, key amongst them being the mapping of the genome of the fly species starting with Hermetia illucens or black soldier fly. The team will also be researching mating and egg laying stimuli amongst various production fly species.
This R&D initiative builds on commercialization research supported by South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency as well as six years of research and development into fly rearing technology in partnership with the University of Stellenbosch.
As AgriProtein rolls out factories to four continents over the coming 18 months, whilst working with research partners and institutions in Europe Asia and the Americas, the group views South Africa as its lead research and development hub.
More on this project:
Fly larvae protein now a commercial reality for aquafeed l Videos