WANDAMIX Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj3pGgtw7sw
What it is: WANDMIX is housefly larvae-based protein concentrate for poultry feed formulation. The development is an extension of EVAKUULA, an evaporative cooling, milk-freshness preservation technology, powered by biogas and wind. EVAKUULA is currently made and marketed by Thermogenn in Uganda. EVAKUULA was developed for smallholder farmers, who use the dung from livestock on their farms to make biogas in domestic biogas plants, commonly called digesters. The farmers use the slurry from the digesters as fertilizer. Production of WANDAMIX slightly changes this material flow. Instead of going from digester to crops, slurry is now first mixed with poultry droppings (waste) to create a substrate for domestic flies to lay eggs. The poultry waste serves two purpose: adding more nutrients and attracting domestic houseflies. Within three days of incubation, the substrate mixture is full of “juicy” larvae, full of nutrients for poultry and possibly other livestock feed. The harvesting process takes advantage of the fact that the larvae are photophobic or light phobic (avoid light and move to darkness). Once the larvae are harvested, the used substrate material is still an excellent fertilizer. It is packaged and used as such. The larvae is sterilized in hot water, boiled with biogas or wood in efficient wood stoves to eliminate microbes like enteribacteria. This is followed by centrifugation using a modified hand-operated salad spinner, to get rid of free water, so the drying in a simple solar drier takes a short time.
The problem it solves and impact: Alternatives to WANDAMIX are soybeans and silverfish. Soybeans are seasonal and are consumed by humans. Silverfish are also seasonal and are consumed by humans; its supply is dwindling. The bottom line is the doubling or tripling of the cost of these alternatives when availability is low, puts them out of reach of smallholder poultry farmers. Imported concentrates are too expensive and their supply is unreliable. An early adopter poultry farmer is raising Kuroilers on WANDAMIX. In comparison to local breeds, Kuroilers are more disease resistant, are more efficient poultry meat, and egg producers–ideal for smallholder poultry farmers. The breed was developed in India by crossing either colored broiler males with Rhode Island Red females, or, White Leghorn males crossed with female Rhode Island Reds. This farmer says, “…the savings are excellent for my bottom line and I cannot go back to other commercial feeds as long as WANDAMIX is available. I am no longer worried about having to sell my birds prematurely due to skyrocketing feed prices.”
The delivery business model: The idea of using insect protein in animal feed is not new. The differentiating flavor introduced is engaging many smallholder farmers, current EVAKUULA customers, as “outgrowers.” Thermogenn buys the dried larvae from participating farmers and grinds it to a concentrate consistence. The concentrate is distributed through livestock feed retailors. Thermogenn has established a business model where the production kit supplied to an outgrower is paid back in kind with a fraction of the larvae supplied within six months.