Collaboration with Mzuzu University.
Feed can represent over 75% of aquaculture farms’ operating costs, and this is highly dependent on the protein source, which is usually wild-caught fish. This has many implications for the sustainability of fish farms and the resilience of the aquaculture industry. Furthermore, ingredients used to feed fish should not be competing for human consumption. Therefore one of the most prominent types of research avenues is to find locally available ingredients to substitute fish meal in aquaculture feeds. Studies into alternative sources of protein to fish meal have investigated plants as protein sources. While extremely useful, they all show that plants are incomplete protein sources, which is why amino acids such as methionine must be supplemented. Recently, insect meals have been of interest as their protein content is adequate, they are seen as sustainable feeds since they are normally fed organic waste, they are environmentally greener and can contribute to circular economy (by converting wastes into useful materials) and affordable. The proposed project will perform a pilot study on the use of insect larvae grown on pre-consumer organic wastes as a live food for tilapia culture in Malawi.