Testing the efficacy of BSF frass and exoskeleton enhanced fertiliser to reduce damage from pests on a commercial scale
About the project
UK-registered Partner: Mana Biosystems – Andrea Jagodic
Africa-registered Partner: Safi Organics – Joyce Kamande
This project occurred through a collaboration between Mana Biosystems (Mana), a UK registered insect protein company, and Safi Organics (Safi), an influential organic fertiliser company based in Ngurubani County, Kenya.
The aim of the project was to understand the effects of the use of the bioproducts of the rapidly growing Black Soldier Fly (BSF) farming industry in fertiliser to reduce damage by pests in a field trial setting. These by-products, provided by Mana, include frass (the insect manure) and powdered chitinous material (from the exoskeleton of the insects), and have been shown in various lab studies to reduce damage to crops by pests and disease.
In the project these by-products are combined with Safi’s unique organic fertiliser formulations and trialled against two controls; one containing no BSF by-products, and another where inorganic pesticide and fertiliser are used instead. The efficacy of the BSF by-products is quantified through the yield and damage due to pests of tomato plants with the BSF inputs when compared to the controls.
The motivation to carry out these trials is to establish a sustainable source of organic pesticide alternatives to environmentally damaging and expensive synthetic pesticides for crops. The data obtained from the project demonstrates that the use of BSF by-products with Safi formula can act as a pest and disease deterrent and fertiliser with similar efficacy as a synthetic pesticide (for a successful initial trial as part of this grant, the partners’ goal was to be in line with efficacy of synthetic).