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Cycle Farms Launches First Insect-Based Feed in Ghana

French based biotechnology company, Cycle Farms has launched its first fish feed factory in Tema. The factory will specialize in the production of animal feed based on insect protein, to serve as an affordable alternative to the fish feed currently in the market.

The new factory is expected to boost aquaculture production in the country.

Cycle Farms bases its activities around the rearing of the Black Solider Fly (Hermetia Illucens) to produce sustainable insect based feed for fish and poultry. By using this larvae, which are extremely rich in protein, instead of vegetable or fish meal the company promotes more efficient and productive food systems.

Cycle Farms’ initiative is the first industrial scale BSF larvae production in Ghana. The company will use its insect meal to produce a complete feed for Ghana’s Tilapia industry.

According to Marc-Antoine Luraschi, Chief Executive at Cycle Farms, the facility will aim at producing about 3500 metric tons in 2019 and steadily scaled up production to satisfy the expanding Ghanaian market.

“The company hopes to move to other African countries to support aquaculture and poultry industries. Aquaculture is crucial to the African population’s nutrition. Fish production needs to be increased to meet domestic needs, and local production will save substantial amounts which are spent on imports. We want to lend a hand in this area,” Mr. Luraschi said.

At Cycle Farms Ghana (CFG), the larvae are fed with a large panel of fruit and vegetable bio-waste locally sourced. The company then uses its own-produced insects and several other ingredients to produce fish feed from 33 to 56% proteins, to fit all the tilapia life stages needs.

Chief Technical Officer of Cycle Farms, Floran Laville said that “The Company’s focus now is on the production of feed for fingerlings, because the ones of the market are mostly imported. We are producing high quality feed which will enable the fish to achieve optimum size and health. This is crucial, if you want to harvest tilapia of high quality and size.”

He added that the firm may venture into catfish and shrimp feed production as part of their production activities in the near future.

Present at the inauguration was Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture as the guest of honor.

She said that a major requirement for maximizing aquaculture production is the lowering of the 70% of the budget spent on feed, and urged the company to address this. She also commended the company for its great innovations and a timely entry into Ghana’s Aquaculture industry.

The minister said that government expected an environmentally sound production process and pledged the ministry’s cooperation with Cycle Farms Ghana by promoting the fish feed for the aquaculture sector with due diligence.

The Sales and Business Developer Manager, Miss Anaïs Legendre, said that the investment by Cycle Farms in the Ghanaian fishing industry will boost the sector by providing more affordable and quality solutions.

“In addition to moderate feed prices, customers can expect high quality feed and support on farming needs. Overall, our prices are moderate, especially when you take into consideration the protein content and the fresh nature of the feed. We are confident that our products will make a major impact on aquaculture production,” she said.

Speaking during the inauguration, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Hon. Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, praised the firm’s innovativeness and admonished it to strive towards lowering of the 70% budget spent on feed as in order to maximize the potential of the aquaculture sector.

The firm will locally rear Black Soldier Fly larvae and in combination with other ingredients produce fish feed with 33 to 56% proteins.

According to a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report, a large proportion of aquaculture production in Africa is based on imported soya bean. FAO therefore proposes insect-based poultry and fish feed as the most sustainable means for the future.

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