Notes to broadcasters
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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: 20 minutes, with intro and outro music.
In today’s program, we are going to talk about the different ways farmers canraiseinsects for chicken and fish feed. A goodnumber of farmers in Uganda are already doing this. We will have another program next week on the same theme.
(PAUSE) With Uganda’s population growing, there will be a steady rise in consumption of animal and fish products as the years go by.
The cost of animal and chicken feed has doubled from 70,000 shillings to 140,000 shillings [$20-40 US] per 100 kg. This is the price for good feed from products such as soy meal and maize.
But, because of changing weather patterns,we can’t guarantee the availability of these feeds in a sufficient quantity and quality in the future.
So we need to think about alternative sources of feed. Raising insects could be part of the solution.
Insect protein is much superior to protein from the plants used to make feeds. Insects have a higher amount of protein than soy meal, fish oil, and seed cakes—which are, by the way, becoming too expensive for the ordinary farmer.
Are you interested in learning what farmerswho are raising insects for chicken and fish feed are doing? Let me introduce you to one farmer who is raising insects for animal feed.
Let’s listen now to Edward Ssebbombo. Mr. Ssebbombo is the Managing Director and co-director of Bobo Eco-farm, a 10-acrefarm inLulagala village in Mityana district,in central Uganda.
Farmers can then immediately harvest and feed theseinsectsto chickens as a good source of protein. They can also dry and process them into feed for later use. In areas where black soldier flies are abundant, small composting operations can helpfarmers breed the flies and increase the population.
Their short life cycle makes them a quick and reliable source of food for chickens, and potentially for other farm animals.
Black soldier flies are harmless insects with the potential to provide a solution to two of modern agriculture’s growing problems: the high cost of animal feed, and the disposal of large amounts of animal waste.
Cut small strips of the cardboard and attach them to the bucket you use as a brooder or incubator. Make sure the creasesinthe cardboard are exposed so that the female has a place to lay hereggs.
It takes an average of two weeks to establisha colony withthis method. But it depends on the densityof black soldier flies in the area. At the moment, we are feeding our chickenswith this insect and we are seeing great results.
Many farmers—including you—can become millionaires if properly trained on how to breed earthworms. Next week, we will hear about farmers who are being successful by breeding maggots!
Are you interested in the experience of these Ugandan farmers? Then stay tuned as I introduce you to Isaac SSEKANDI, the chairperson of Tukoledewamu youth group in Gayaza, in the Wakiso district of central Uganda.
Another big challenge was that I had intruded into the territory of another predator of the earthworms locally known as ebinusu. This insect is a bloodsucker which also feeds on earthworms. Whenever I waded through the murky waters in search of earthworms, I end with stinging bites from these bloodsuckers. They were swollen and painful for at least a month.
Companies that produce feeds are getting a lot of money from farmers, and we just accept it and ignore opportunities like this. Let me take advantage of this program to call upon farmers to wake up and start doing things differently. Why shouldn’t we take advantage of the vast knowledge of our home-grown institutions such as Makerere University to do agriculture better and cheaply!
That is our program for today. But next week we will be back with another program on the same theme. We will talk with farmers from Kyotera in Rakai district who feed their fish, chicken, and livestock on maggots. And we will talk a little about raising crickets. So don’t forget to tune in lest you miss an opportunity to become a millionaire.
Goodbye until next week.
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
Ssekandi Isaack, an artist and chairman of Tukoledewamu youth group in Nangabo sub-county, Wakiso district.May 14, 2016
Edward Ssebbombo, Managing Director, Bobo Eco-farm, Lulagala village, Mityana District, March 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