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GAEC trains farmers on new technology

BY: Delali Sika
 Prof. Samuel Boakye Dampare (middle), Director-General of GAEC, with participants and facilitators
Prof. Samuel Boakye Dampare (middle), Director-General of GAEC, with participants and facilitators

The Biotechnology and Nuclear Agriculture Research Institute (BNARI), of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) has equipped farmers on how to convert organic waste into high-quality nutrients for animal feed.

The conversion can be achieved using Black Soldier Fly (BSF) technology the research institute has designed.

The two-day training workshop also gave farmers and agripreneurs the opportunity to learn how to use the same technology to improve soil fertility.

Facilitators led participants through topics such as the ‘biology and benefits of black soldier fly, mass rearing process of black soldier fly, housing and farm management of black soldier fly, post-processing of black soldier fly larval residue and compost production.

Techniques

Addressing participants yesterday[July 6, 2022], the Director-General of GAEC, Professor Samuel Boakye Dampare, said after 10 years of research, BNARI had perfected a variety of BSF techniques from rearing to their use in animal feed and organic crop production.

“We have developed strong institutional capacity through research over the years and are ready to transfer the BSF technology to the Ghanaian public,” he added.

Prof. Dampare said research had shown that the black soldier fly could convert organic waste into high-quality nutrients for pet foods, fish and poultry feeds, and use the residue/frass as fertiliser to enrich the soil.

“The larvae of the BSF have large and powerful chewing mouthparts that allow them to feed on decomposing organic waste such as organic manure, chicken manure, restaurant/domestic food waste, fruit and vegetable waste etc,” he explained.

“I urge you to be very observant while you implement this technology and promptly notify BNARI of any new thing you notice during its application in your unique setting,” the Director-General of GAEC advised.

Wastage

For his part, the Deputy Director of BNARI, Dr Fidelis Ocloo, stated that estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organisation showed that one-third of food produced for human consumption was wasted globally, amounting to approximately 1.3 billion tonnes a year.

“In Ghana, for example, our fruit and vegetable markets generate a significant amount of organic waste. This BSF insect can be used to reduce the volume of waste generated by about 60 per cent while also producing useful products like protein feed for farm animals,” he stressed.

Dr Ocloo congratulated participants for taking the time to learn about the technology and urged them to put the knowledge acquired into good practice.

Certificates were issued to participants after they had been taken through the theoretical and practical sessions of the training.

Participants were also presented with a step-by-step training manual.