Black flies innovation wins farmer’s fair

Godfrey Ssali (left) explains to farmers how he rears the black flies. PHOTO/DENIS EDEMA

What you need to know:

  • Godfrey Ssali feeds the insects with water while the larvae feed on any decomposing foodstuff from the market and leftover foods.

Godfrey Ssali who rears black soldier flies in Kangulumira, Kayunga District, on Monday emerged the winner of the second farmers’ innovation fair held in Kabizi village, Nyenga sub-county in Buikwe District.
The event organised by HORIZONT3000 and Austrian Development Agency attracted more than 300 farmers and exhibitors.

Ssali is a member of Agro Hub Insect Farm a subsidiary of Agalya Awamu a farmer’s group in Kangulumira, Kayunga District, where he rears black soldier flies, was among the farmers who made entries for the best innovation and value addition competition.

When the Seeds of Gold team visited his stall, we found Ssali explaining to the judges how he runs his black flies enterprise.

“Larvarian is where we feed the insects, in love cage mating happens and at the hatchery, they lay the eggs,” says the farmer. 

Ssali and his friends started the project in 2020 to cash in on the shortage of animal feeds.
“We went for free training at Bukalasa Agricultural College in Luweero District and, thereafter, was given a free black soldier flies kit to start this project,” says Ssali.

During the training, Ssali says he learnt about other insects such as crickets but chose black soldier flies because he needed to use their waste as fertiliser for his organic farm.

How he feeds insects 
Ssali feeds the insects with water while the larvae feed on any decomposing foodstuff from the market.
The love section consists of several cages where male and female flies mate and lay eggs in a wooden structure. 

A single fly hatches 300 to 1,000 eggs in seven days. After that they die. The eggs hatch into larvae in about four days.

Organic fertiliser
On the other hand, Ssali dries the waste that comes from the production process and mills to make organic fertiliser.

“Sometimes we, however, mix the waste with the black soldier flies themselves, grind and sell to farmers,” explains Ssali.

The fertiliser is rich in nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. 

According to agriculture experts, it enhances soil fertility and contains an element called chitin to boost plant immunity. Ssali notes that to run such a business, one does not need to start big.

Ssali emerged the best farmer after scoring highest in the categories that included best innovation and value addition. 

“The judges found it unique the way he rears the black soldiers,” says Judith Birungi the coordinator of HORIZONT3000.

Ssali beat other farmers from Caritas MADDO of Masaka, Caritas Tororo, YARD and One World (OWSL) from Tanzania.