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11 Dec 2023

Study of F&S for FAO creates new insights in the socio-economic aspects of the Black Soldier Fly sector in East Africa

F&S consultants Annelien Meerts, Laura Martinussen and Andrew Kizito Muganga have mapped the the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) sector in Keny and Uganda. It is part of the ‘Animal Feed Commercialization Project’ implemented by the Subregional Office for Eastern Africa of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with funding from Mastercard Foundation.

BSF production is emerging as a new agricultural sub-sector. It is a sustainable and circular source of protein for animal feed, which is much needed in East Africa. However, the production of BSF is still in its infancy and knowledge on the value chain remains limited. This research contributed to more in-depth-knowledge on what is happening in the BSF value chain in Kenya and Uganda, what actors there are and what its potential is.

Key findings of the study

In Kenya, the BSF sector is characterized by around 1,200 active producers in two main production systems: production at household-level and commercial production. The sector’s growth potential is highest in Central and Western Kenya due to waste availability, public awareness, and demand for protein. In Uganda, the same production systems exist with a handful of large-scale commercial producers and an estimated 500 producers are household level.

Challenges are quite similar and include inconsistent production, low production volumes, uncompetitive prices, and lack of awareness about the sector. The sector lacks coordination, formal regulations, and faces issues with access to finance. Opportunities lie in organic waste management, protein and frass demand, niche markets/innovative product applications, and job creation.

While both countries share similarities, Kenya’s BSF value chain is more developed, with more producers, variation in scale and specialization, and lower product prices. Uganda, however, is ahead in terms of policies.

Recommendations include adapting BSF production approaches, conducting more research on economic viability, creating attractive product-market combinations, raising public awareness, improving knowledge dissemination and training, enhancing value chain coordination, and making financial services more accessible for producers and processors.

Interested to learn more?

To Contact Annelien Meerts, please email her at annelien.meerts@fairandsustainable.org

or download the report below:

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