71point4 > Projects > Waste to Value > Waste to Value research: Black Soldier Fly

Waste to Value: Black Soldier Fly


Harambee / Yellowwoods


Academic and industry reports, General Household Survey (StatsSA), Producer Farmer Register (DALRD), primary data collected through stakeholder interviews

Desktop research, survey data analysis, stakeholder interviews


The team conducted research into the opportunity to support livelihoods through Black Soldier Fly (BSF) farming in small-scale, low-tech operations in South Africa. The research focused on the relative benefits of BSF compared to other waste-to-value technologies, the benefits of BSF-based products to the end user, appropriate waste streams for BSF farming as well as the potential scale of operations and job creation that could be supported by the available and usable waste in South Africa.

The project revealed significant limitations in the availability of published data relating to food waste in South Africa. Nevertheless, using a mixed methodology of desktop research, expert interviews and case studies, the team assessed the potential size of the opportunity to utilize agricultural, food processing and municipal food waste in small-scale, low-tech BSF farming operations.

Beyond the direct benefit of job creation at the BSF facilities, the research found that BSF farming presents a compelling treatment option for food waste compared to alternatives due to the broad range of end products it produces and its minimal environmental impact. This is particularly relevant in provinces like the Western Cape where municipalities and private waste generators are increasingly under pressure to find food waste treatment options due to recent legislation changes implementing bans on organic waste to landfill. Further benefits of a decentralised, small-scale BSF farming model include improved access to the BSF products for rural and peri-urban based smallholder farmers. This includes the protein-rich larvae which offer an alternative feedstock for smallholder chicken and pig farmers and the larvae frass which is increasingly being used as an effective organic fertilizer with impressive impacts on crop yields and crop health.

This research formed part of a broader pre-feasibility analysis to understand the potential scale of small-scale BSF farming in South Africa.