NARICT Maggot Breeding Breakthrough For Poultry Feeds

NARICT Maggot Processing Laboratory: When it comes on stream next year, NARICT shall breed maggots in this facility, extract protein from these maggots and fortify poultry feeds with it for the nation’s poultry industry.

Nigeria’s and indeed the global population is growing. This translates to more mouths to feed in the country and around the World. According to the Food and Agricultural Association (FAO), the general growth in demand for food products and global prosperity have increased pressure on farmers to produce more.
Yet arable land is shrinking around the world due to urbanization, desertification and allied climate-induced challenges. Nevertheless, the FAO has also projected that to feed a larger, more urban and richer population in the future, food production must increase by 70%.
One area of challenge which threatens both Nigeria’s and global food security is the production of animal protein for human consumption. This has been under continual pressure even as it is trailed by controversies. Yet the worldwide consumption of animal protein continues to grow.
Experts in the field have stated that much of the future supply of meat protein will come from poultry. With increased animal protein production comes higher demand for feeds and, in particular, a demand for ingredients high in protein and energy in poultry feeds.
Protein is the most expensive composite of poultry feeds. Sources include the by-product of oilseed crops like soya bean, sunflower or groundnut, or grains that are of poor quality or damaged by harvest or storage conditions. Others are meat, bone and fish by-products from respective industries. Oilseed meals may make up 20-40% of poultry diets depending on the breed, growth stage and also the amount of anti-nutritive factors present in the source.
Soybean meal is the largest source of protein feed in the world, and is generally used in animal feed. The meal is the by-product of the production of soybean oil. It is regarded as the best source of vegetable protein for poultry feed, hence the current increase in soybean cultivation.
However, vast expanses of land are needed to cultivate soybeans and Nigeria and the rest of the World do not have the luxury of more arable land to devote to planting soya bean to meet the demand for protein in poultry feed. To be sure, soya bean production is taking over huge areas in fragile ecosystems leading to mass deforestation and major harm to the biosphere. The fact that the soymeal is the most expensive component of the feed necessitates alternative protein sources for use in poultry feed
This challenge had received considerable scientific attention from researchers at the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT) in the last two years under the leadership of Prof. Jeffrey T. Barminas as Director-General and Chief Executive Officer (DG/CEO).
And the cheery news is that there is a breakthrough at NARICT to solve this national challenge in the poultry sector of the Nigerian economy.
Researchers at NARICT have perfected a process by which protein is extract from the fly larvae (maggots, in plain diction) and used to enrich or fortify protein feeds – instead of soya bean – for the nation’s poultry industry.
To domesticate this technological breakthrough and spread it across the country, the NARICT Maggot Processing Laboratory is currently under construction at the Institute’s Zaria headquarters. Construction started early this year. Work is at advance stage work and it is expected to finish before December for official commissioning.
The project seeks to produce fly maggots for sustainable use as alternate protein composite in poultry feed, thereby freeing up arable land to plant other crops in the country and save forex spent on importing protein sources for poultry feeds in Nigeria.

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