Fly larvae to feed animals

...and possibly also humans!

Those bothersome flies zooming around during meal times in summer can help to make our world ecologically sustainable, says Jason Drew, founder and director of AgriProtein. This company in Phillipi, Cape Town (said to be the world’s largest fly farm) produces 7,5 tons of fly larvae daily, which consumes 110 tons of refuse, and is used to manufacture protein animal feed. This product, made from dehydrated fly larvae, is a substitute for fishmeal (which is very expensive) and soya meal (which is less effective). The fly larvae are also environmentally friendly as they are fed organic refuse such as left-over food or garden refuse that can be used as compost. The process relieves pressure on agricultural activities and fishing stock and leaves a smaller carbon footprint. Currently, the product is used as fish and chicken feed, but plans are under way to also use it as pet food. In future, it may be used in protein supplements for humans. All the products were tested scientifically in cooperation with the University of Stellenbosch (Sake Rapport, 22 May 2016).

Climate will cost milliards

By 2030, the cost for developing countries to cope with and adapt to changing climate conditions will amount to between $140 milliard and $300 milliard annually [a milliard is a thousand millions]

This is at least four times more than previous estimates, says the UN’s environmental programme (UNEP) in a report presented at the bi-annual Adaptation Futures conference in Rotterdam recently. Many cities in Africa and Asia do not have proper strategies to make changes, and are also concerned about financing such initiatives. According to Parks Tau, mayor of Johannesburg, it is estimated that it will cost this city about R116 million to prepare for climate change. The city can expect an increase in heat waves and exceptionally cold conditions in the near future. The eThekwini municipality in Durban, which is more exposed than Johannesburg, expect sea levels of more than a metre higher than currently by 2100. Rainfall will also increase, but it will rain at shorter intervals, which means that water levels will be much higher and that the water will flower much more rapidly. This will increase pressure on the city’s sewage system (Yolandi Groenewald, Rapport, 22 May 2016).

Concern over SA’s water-intensive coal industry

Higher temperatures and diminished rainfall are wreaking havoc in two of South Africa’s largest economic sectors – agriculture and energy. Yet, on the face of this growing crisis, the SA government continues to display unyielding allegiance to the nation’s water-guzzling coal sector, whose 50+ billion tons of coal reserves fuel 90% of the country’s electrical generating capacity and provide a third of its liquid fuels. When completed in 2020, the 4 800 megawatt Medupi coal-fired power station near Lephalale will consume 6.9 billion litres of water annually, which, according to forecasts based on the current drought, will not be available. Coal also generates hundreds of millions of metric tons of climate-changing carbon emissions annually that aggravate SA’s warming and drying. The other side of the coin is that 13 wind power plants and 31 solar generating stations are already operating in South Africa, and R95 billion has already been invested in renewable energy installations. The country appears well on its way to reaching the national target of 6 000 new megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2020, and 18 000 new megawatts by 2030 (Keith Schneider, senior editor and chief correspondent for Circle of Blue, 27 May 2016).