Notes to broadcasters
The major ingredients in animal and fish feed, including soya beans, fish oil, and seed cakes are becoming expensive because of lack of land for production, while the availability of fish as an ingredient in fishmeal is decreasing because of overfishing.
In contrast, insects are a readily available and cost-effective protein substitute in feed. Research on sustainable methods of multiplying insect species has identified a number of easy-to-adapt and cost-effective methods for raising and harvesting insects, as well as post-harvest techniques to provide feed for small-scale poultry and fish farmers in East Africa.
Insects have more protein than the plants commonly used to make feed. Insect protein is also superior to protein obtained from plants which are used to formulate feed.
In this script, we interview Ugandan farmers involved in raising insects for feed. The interviews show the benefits of using insects for feed and some of the challenges farmers face in capturing and raising insects for animal feed.
You could use this script as inspiration to research and write a script on the best ways to capture and raise insects for poultry and fish feed.
Or you might choose to produce this script on your station, using voice actors to represent the speakers. If so, please make sure to tell your audience at the beginning of the program that the voices are those of actors, not the original people involved in the interviews.
Talk to farmers and other experts who use insects to feed farm animals, including fish. You might ask them:
What methods do you use to capture and raise insects? What insects do you raise? What are the most important things to remember in raising particular insects for feed?
Is raising insects for animal feed a profitable enterprise? What are the most important things to remember to make a profit? What are the major challenges, and how can they be successfully addressed?
Estimated running time: 15minutes, with intro and outro music.
Last week, in part one of this program, we learnt from farmers in the Wakiso district of central Uganda how breeding earthworms has improved the quality and quantity of their poultry, eggs, and milk and reduced the cost of chicken feed.We also heard from a farmer in Mityana District who is raising lack soldier flies as feed for poultry and even pigs!
Now, let’s meet a farmer who breeds maggots for similar purposes. Yes, maggots—the wriggly, creatures associated with rot and stench. Oh my gosh! But listen on and learn what wonders can come out of rot.
What is your name and what do you do?
What even encouraged me more was the rate at which the maggots were multiplying. Within just one day, I could produce about three or four kilograms of maggots, something I never expected.
We learned that, to maintain the breeding colony, we need to refill the food containers and the water, and keep the nesting material damp. One litre of water lasts four or five weeks.
Every two months or so, we need to move the entire colony to a second container, and clean the first container of cricket waste and dead crickets.
What is your name and what do you do?
When farmers use waste materials such as household garbage or farm wastes to feed insects, the insects must be processed appropriately to kill any germs, for example, by boiling, steaming, and then drying. Thenthey must store the processed insects safely to maintain quality and ensure that the insects do not decompose or collect mould.
This brings us to the end of our program. In today’s program and in part one of our series on capturing and raising insects for chicken and fish feed, we learnt that breeding insects for feed is not as difficult as we might think. We might worry that we can’t manage it or that we don’t have funding to do it. But we have learned that it does not take a huge sum of money to raise insects. Instead, the Ugandan farmers used existing materials like buckets and bean leaves and rotting organic waste to raise and feed insects.
There is a saying: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest till your good is better and your better best.”
We will stop here for today. Goodbye.
Contributed by: Amito Grace Odyambo, radio journalist
Reviewed by:Dorothy Nakimbugwe, Senior Lecturer, Department of Food Technology & Nutrition, School of Food Technology, Nutrition & Bio-Engineering, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
Mrs. Butebona Joyce, farmer, Katega village, Mukono district, February 6,2016
Mawerere Paul, fish farmer, Kyotera village, Rakai district, May 14, 2016
This work was carried out with financial support from the Australian International Food Security Centre, ACIAR, and the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada.
The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of IDRC or its Board of Governors.