It’s the Flies that Will Save Us

The impacts of big agri(culture) on the environment can be massive and, as resources continue to dwindle, how farmers adapt to the increasing financial pressures of farming is going to pose a real challenge; or a real opportunity for innovation.

Khepri Biosciences is a biotechnology company in Gauteng, South Africa, whose mission is to become the number one bioconversion research and sustainable animal feed producer in the world. On 15 October, they came one step closer to reaching this goal by taking home the grand prize at the 5th annual SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards in Johannesburg.

SAB Innovation Award winner Bandile Dlabantu (centre) with SAB corporate affairs and transformation executive director, Monwabisi Fandeso (right), and SAB Foundation chairman Moss Mgoasheng.

SAB Innovation Award winner Bandile Dlabantu (centre) with SAB corporate affairs and transformation executive director, Monwabisi Fandeso (right), and SAB Foundation chairman Moss Mgoasheng.

Owner of Khepri Biosciences and bio-entrepreneur, Bandile Dlabantu, was awarded a prize of R1.2-million for the commercialisation of their invention—a low-cost insect production unit for animal feed that helps manage waste in a most remarkable way.

The unit works by collecting and processing agricultural waste in order to produce fly larvae. These larvae are then converted into protein-rich animal feed, a process that results in a 40% reduction of total waste products. By using this feeding method instead of buying traditional fish meal, farmers can reduce their input costs (with cost savings for communities), divert waste away from landfills, and reduce pressure on fast dwindling marine sources for land based animal feed.

We look forward to seeing the impact this unique invention has on current agricultural and social problems, as well as how it may benefit the people of rural areas through food security and job creation.

Khepri Logo via Khepri Innovations

Khepri Logo via Khepri Innovations

 

To find out more about Khepri Biosciences and their mission, visit their website.

Learn more about the SAB Foundation and their goals, or read about the runners up here.

Still curious about how the flies will save us? Check out The Story of the Fly and how it could save the world by Jason Drew and Justine Joseph, a fascinating read that we recently gave away to a few lucky subscribers!