Black soldier fly (BSF) larvae research in Ghana (and Valley View University in Accra)

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  • Wolfgang Berger
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  • Publisher and author of a specialist book and various publications on composting toilets; owner of Berger Biotechnik since 1985; project staff of research projects;
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Black soldier fly (BSF) larvae research in Ghana (and Valley View University in Accra)

On the recommendation of Elisabeth von Münch I send a contribution to the subject.

The video clip and the photo show the amount of larvae that have increased within a few days in the collecting bins for faeces. The containers are sprinkled with wood shavings. After all faeces were eaten, only shavings, toilet paper remnants and the dried shells of hatched flies were left behind. The previously almost filled containers were filled only to about 25% then. Lack of fresh faeces made the larvae starved.

Short video clip:


Photo:




The collection bins are part of a community toilet facility for students at the Valley View University in Accra, Ghana. Solar-heated separation toilets are installed in the context of a research project (2003-2009), funded by the German Ministry for Science and Education and the Berger Biotechnik company (see also www.susana.org/docs_ccbk/susana_download...m--final-version.pdf .)

(Note by editor (EvM): the link above does not work. I will ask Wolfgang, but maybe he meant this link:
www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=1691 )


The photo and the movie were done by me.

Best regards

Wolfgang Berger
Berger Biotechnik, Hamburg
Wolfgang Berger
BERGER BIOTECHNIK GmbH
Bogenstr. 17
20144 Hamburg, Germany
tel. +49(0)404397875
fax +49(0)40437848
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.berger-biotechnik.de
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  • emaccra
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Re: AW: Black soldier fly

Dear Wolfgang,

I'm a PhD student from UK, I'm currently in Ghana trying to find the Black Soldier Fly. I'm working on a project called Proteinsect looking at using fly larvae as a feed ingredient for animals.
I was wondering if you took these pictures and video in Ghana ? Could you give me some advice to find this fly here ?
Do you think the sanitation system you've set up at the Valley View University in Accra is still running ?
I'm desperate to find the species here and i'm not sure i can introduce the species for south africa for example ...

Hope you can help me!
All the best,
Emilie


(Note by editor (EvM): the link above by Wolfang does not work. I will ask Wolfgang, but maybe he meant this link to the case study:
www.susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=1691
And yes, as far as I know, this sanitation systm is still running now)
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  • Emilio
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Re: AW: Black soldier fly

Hi Emilie

try the following technique to get black soldier flies

With a 200 liter oil drum, first open some holes on the bottom, so water won't accumulate. Then put a 150 mm thick layer of plant material, palm leaves, to allow liquids from the other layers to drain, if in the rainy season restrict the amount of rain thar falls into the drum by covering. By plant material I mean small bushes and other weeds you get from a agricultural field or not properly tended garden, over that layer put in the center a 50-70 mm thick layer of kitchen wastes, cover with another 80-100 mm layer of the same material as the bottom one. Let the drum under the shade of a tree and wait some 10 days, before inspecting, by that time you should have a nice population of black soldier fly larvae. the flyes usually lay eggs on sunny days so let it open during sun spells say from 10 to 15 hours

regards


Emilio
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  • Wolfgang Berger
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Re: Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) as a product from productive sanitation and for faecal sludge management

Dear Emilie,

Sorry not to have followed the discussion for some time. Elisabeth helped to answer your main questions. The black soldier fly occur intermittently and then extremely, so you have to contact the toilet facility manager Gideon at VVU (contact me by email).
Best regards

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Berger
BERGER BIOTECHNIK GmbH
Bogenstr. 17
20144 Hamburg, Germany
tel. +49(0)404397875
fax +49(0)40437848
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.berger-biotechnik.de
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  • emaccra
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Re: Black Soldier Fly at BBT / Ghana

Dear All,

I had finally the chance to visit the Berger Biological Toilet project at Valley Vue University. I was happy to find also some Black Soldier Fly (adults) around the faeces collecting bins and some empty pupae shells in the bins (unfortunately on the site some doors are broken and then the flies can go in to colonize the bins). Thanks to Mr. Berger help, we've met some people responsible for the project there and they allowed us to set up a trap near the BBT. Emilio, I used the technic you advised. I attract the flies with pig manure and we let the trap for 18 days before collection. We were very happy to find a large amount of small larvae in the bucket!

Due to the rainy season, we've collected less larvae than expected, but it was still a very positive result. We have then decide to set up a new trap which will be collected next week. I hope that this will allow us to start a captive colony of BSF!

Thank you all for your help,
Best wishes,
Emilie




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  • Wolfgang Berger
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Re: Black Soldier Fly at BBT / Ghana

Dear Emilie, dear all,

Thank you for the report and the photo from the BBT.

Today I received a phone call from Gideon,the high motivated facility manager at Valley View University. He is responsible for cleaning and operation of the structure. Since our project ended in 2009, the new university management is not much interested any more to support and to continue the different ecological cycle measurements resulting from our research activities. If you look at the photo, it is visible that the students are not informed about the passive solar effect on the drying process of faeces and the natural boost effect for ventilation, otherwise they would have not pasted the transparent and black aluminium covers with posters.

Of course, for visitors the whole function is explained on a poster at the entrance of the toilet building and we left a stock with lots of spare parts for the plumber. However, the staff we have trained before has exchanged too. Therefore a project should always have some money left for further education, repairs and improvement even after project ending.

I will try to convince Valley View University´s president to bring the toilet building in the same good function again, as it has been during the last years. Otherwise it is not a model for a public UDDT anymore.

Best regards

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Berger
BERGER BIOTECHNIK GmbH
Bogenstr. 17
20144 Hamburg, Germany
tel. +49(0)404397875
fax +49(0)40437848
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.berger-biotechnik.de
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  • Elisabeth
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  • I'm passionate about SuSanA's role in the WASH sector since about 2005. I'm a freelance consultant since 2012 (former roles: program manager, lecturer, process engineer for wastewater treatment plants)
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Re: Black Soldier Fly at BBT / Ghana

Dear Emilie,

I am happy that Wolfgang's dry toilets at Accra Uni (and the input from this forum) were able to help you get the black soldier flies that you were looking for!

Could you please explain to us a bit more what you plan to do with them now?

I Googled the project that you mentioned earlier, Proteinsect, and found the following:

www.aqua.stir.ac.uk/news/2013/insect

Insects require a feed source themselves, and to avoid competing with other uses, PROteINSECT will focus on the use and recycling of waste materials for scaling up the production of fly larvae. Elaine Fitches the FERA Project Coordinator stated: “PROteINSECT is focusing its research efforts on flies not only for their ability to grow rapidly on a range of organic wastes, but also because there is already considerable expertise in their rearing in countries such as Mali, Ghana and China. PROteINSECT provides us with the opportunity to work in partnership to exchange and build on existing expertise and improve methods suitable for both local and commercial scale production."


Oh, actually this website is even better:
www.proteinsect.eu/index.php?id=2



Will your project look at using human waste as a potential feed source for the flies, or will you stick to the "easier" organic wastes, such as organic kitchen and garden waste (I say "easier", because you would not have the issue of pathogen removel). What type of food do these flies prefer, do they like the nitrogen-rich organic matter such as faeces or do they prefer kitchen waste, or a mixture of both (sorry for my ignorance on the feeding habits of black solider flies).

Regards,
Elisabeth
Head moderator of this Discussion Forum
(under consultancy contract with Skat Foundation funded by WSSCC)

Dr. Elisabeth von Muench
Independent consultant located in Brisbane, Australia
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  • emaccra
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Re: Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) as a product from productive sanitation and for faecal sludge management

Dear Elisabeth and other,

Well, to be short, now that I’ve found the BSF my plans are to develop a pilot to produce larvae en mass. I need to produce enough larvae biomass to set up later next year some feeding trials on tilapia. For the moment I’m only using pig manure to grow the larvae, but my second generation of flies is still not mating and spawning, so I wonder if pig manure have enough nutrient to produce good broodstock. If someone can give me some advice on why my flies are not mating, I would be very interested! I will follow on trying different organic substrates such as fish, abattoir, brewery wastes, etc.
I don’t want to work with human faeces as I plan to use the larvae to feed animal and this is already not well accepted here in Ghana.

Sophia, thank you very much for the picture and sharing about Ariprotein! This is really interesting.
It seems that several people from Ghana are exchanging on the subject now on this forum! This is good, I really hope that if more people get involve into developing projects using the BSF (or other fly species), this will help to create a new legislation in the country to facilitate development of production systems, reduction of wastes and use of maggots in animal feed.

All the best,
Emilie


This is one of our cage (btw we are looking for a place in Ghana to buy mosquito nets clothes - several meters - also if anybody from ghana can help ?)
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  • OfosuBudu
  • A professor at the University of Ghana, Forest and Horticultural Crops Research Centre, Legon, Accra Ghana. Research into recycling of organic waste (agricultural and municipal) to compost and biochar for improving soil health and promoting good environm
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Re: Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) as a product from productive sanitation and for faecal sludge management

Hello,
Thank you for sharing the information on the BSFL and the challenges you are facing. I am a Ghanaian working with the Univ of Ghana and will be working on a similar project with FiBL (Switzerland) very soon. If you are working in and around Accra, we can arrange and meet at the University of Ghana, Legon to exchange or share more ideas. You can easily get mosquito nets in Accra, at least for this pilot project. You can get my whereabouts from the Head of the Crop Science Dept at the College of Agric and Consumer Sciences. See you.
Kadecom
KADECOM
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  • Wolfgang Berger
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  • Publisher and author of a specialist book and various publications on composting toilets; owner of Berger Biotechnik since 1985; project staff of research projects;
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Re: Black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) as a product from productive sanitation and for faecal sludge management

Dear all,

To anybody who is interested in the public UDDT building at Valley View University in Accra, Ghana: The updated and revised edition of the case study by Paul Adjetey is uploaded now. You are welcome to send your comments. The Black Soldier Fly is an occasional visitor of the system, so Emilie could take a sample from there.

susana.org/lang-en/library?view=ccbktypeitem&type=2&id=1691

Tags: public dry toilet, UDDT, solar drying, urine harvesting, faeces composting, hygiene tests, hand-washing

Thanks to Elisabeth, Jörn and Christian for their help and support!
Best regards

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Berger
BERGER BIOTECHNIK GmbH
Bogenstr. 17
20144 Hamburg, Germany
tel. +49(0)404397875
fax +49(0)40437848
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.berger-biotechnik.de
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