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Maggots eyed as animal feed

Reuters / Families tucking into a Sunday roast dinner may not relish the idea of animals fattened on maggots, but a British entrepreneur in South Africa believes they’re a viable protein-rich animal feed alternative.

AgriProtein Technologies plans to set up the world’s first large-scale factory in South Africa to produce “Magmeal,” an organic and sustainable replacement for the fish meal currently used to fatten up chickens and pigs.

“By 2050, at the current rates that we are using fish meal, we will need two more planets’ oceans to feed ourselves, said David Drew, the company’s managing director.

“What’s been helping us is the price of fish meal is rising, it is a scarce resource.”

The company already operates a “fly farm” and the technology is simple: Flocks of flies contained in special containers lay eggs which turn into larvae after three days. Millions of teeming maggots are immersed in abattoir blood and feed on it to fatten up.

When fully grown at around 12 millimetres, the maggots are washed, dried, milled and pelleted. The plant would consume 65,000 litres of blood a day, feeding 100 tonnes of maggots and producing 20 tonnes of Magmeal.

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