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12 September 2017

 

AgriProtein boosts food security in South Africa

 

AgriProtein could be the first company in the world to put fly-farming on the animal feed map, said Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, this morning at the facility's official launch in the economically depressed township of Philippi, Cape Town.

 

Funded by the Department of Science and Technology through its entity the Technology Innovation Agency, AgriProtein has already created 150 jobs. The Minister commended the company for its role in tackling food security and youth unemployment the country.

 

AgiProtein uses technology that converts waste into nutrients used for animal feed.  It is a pioneer in the emerging waste-to-nutrient industry, which seeks to put the world's growing organic waste mountain, estimated to top one billion tonnes by 2025, to good use in improving food security.

 

Insect meal is a more sustainable alternative than fishmeal, with the production process also diverting large volumes of organic waste from landfills to feed the larvae, which grow into the maggots used for the insect meal.

 

Speaking to over 500 community members, Minister Pandor said the project was good example of a technological breakthrough in the environmental and agricultural sector, and demonstrates that South Africa was responding to the National Development Plan with regard to moving towards a knowledge-based economy and innovation.

 

Since 2009, the company has successfully developed and piloted a nutrient recycling technology (converting organic waste to animal feed protein) as part of their strategy to commercialise an insect-based protein feed in the animal feed industry.

 

Currently 8,5 billion flies recycle 250 tonnes of waste a day, boosting larvae production to 50 tonnes a day.

 

"Agriprotein is certainly setting an example to other start-ups, winning prizes and reaching out globally," said the Minister.  "It is also a clean-tech pioneer – earlier this year it was listed as one of the Global Cleantech Top 100, a singular achievement for a South African startup."

 

The Minister added that the growth of small businesses was central to creating new, sustainable jobs.

 

"International trends indicate that national growth increasingly depends on the creation of small and medium-sized companies, particularly at a regional and local level.  This must therefore be seen as a priority if we want to accelerate job creation," said the Minister.

 

The facility has so far created 150 job opportunities in the community. The number is expected to increase substantially when additional production facilities are established.

 

Jason Drew, CEO of AgriProtein, said the company was also looking at markets outside South Africa.

 

"We are rapidly expanding globally. Our aim is to build a network of 100 insect protein factories by 2024 and 200 by 2027, supplying the $100 billion aquafeed market.  We are building factories in Saudi Arabi, the United States of America, South America and Africa, as well as one in Australasia," he said.

 

Issued by the Department of Science and Technology.

 

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