Study recommends new animal feed


A study by Mwapata Institute has recommended the use of Black Soldier Fly (BSF) as an alternative animal and fish feed ingredient in Malawi.

The study, titled ‘The Economic Cost-Benefit Analysis of Black Soldier Fly as an Alternative Animal and Fish Feed Ingredient in Malawi’, was conducted by Maggie Munthali, Lemekezani Chilora, Mike Goliath, William Burke, Eric Benbow, Jeremiah Kang’ombe and Andrew Safalaoh.

The study utilised data from a small-scale pilot BSF farm at Bunda in Lilongwe to assess the farm-level economic feasibility of BSF farming at various scales of production in Malawi using cost-benefit analysis.


The results of the study have revealed that BSF farming appears to be viable and feasible across scales of production.

For instance, small-scale and commercial farmers will require K264,050 and K3,238,986.00 to set up a BSF farming enterprise, respectively.

This will carry an operation through the first larval cycle. Each year, a BSF farm can go through a total of five larval cycles.


While most of the full first-year costs are in the initial setup, a full five-cycle year will require some additional variable costs. In total, farmers would need K440,250 (small-scale) and K5,128,530.00 (commercial scale) to run the BSF business for one year.

“The small-scale farmers would generate revenue of K507,100 for one larval cycle and K2,355.000 annually. At a larger scale, commercial farmers will generate K2,535,500 for one larval cycle and K7,680,750 annually.

“This implies that BSF production has greater implications on household food and nutrition security and can also act as a livelihood diversification strategy among farmers to minimise risks of on-farm activities while ensuring environmental sustainability,” the report reads.

It further notes that the Net Present Value of investment returns and the long-run Benefit Cost Ratio suggest BSF farming is profitable across scales.

The study also performed a sensitivity analysis and found viability to be robust to up to 10 percent changes in the price and yield of BSF larvae and frass.

“These results have significant implications that will inform the government and other stakeholders to develop strategies and policy actions that will promote BSF farming in the country.

“However, our study did not conduct probabilistic sensitivity analysis to account for multiple different scenarios given the uncertainties associated with agricultural production,” the study says.

The use of BSF as alternative animal and aquaculture feed has gained attention around the globe.

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