Maggots have become a surprisingly reliable addition to protein sources in animal feed. Unlike Soybean and Fishmeal, they won’t they come at a considerably lower market price and they won’t be in competition as a major human food source anytime soon (hopefully). Furthermore, producing an insect-based protein (maggots) doesn’t come with the adverse environmental consequences of producing an animal protein (fish meal) and plant protein (soybean) which require more land, water, and energy resources. They are also very rich in proteins and contain a wide range of amino acids and minerals that provide the necessary nutrition for livestock growth.

According to Jason Drew, co-founder at AgriProtein (pioneer industrial maggot production company), “AgriProtein wants to shake up the international animal feed business by producing a cheaper and more valuable product that will help farmers around the world make extra profits by reducing some of their feed costs.- Interview with TIME

Getting started

To get started in this business requires diligent research. A couple of online resources will help you, Youtube videos and paid business plans. In the course of your research you will need to answer some key questions:

  • where will the business be located?
  • who and where are my clients?
  • how much of the chemistry and process of production do you know? written down?
  • how much control do you have over your outcomes?
  • what are your production projections?
  • how do I construct my facility?
  • do I have a comprehensive list of all the safety concerns I should note?
  • my financial plan? pricing, supplies, running cost, etc?
  • my marketing plan? promotions, credit, etc?

Source for Supply of Raw Materials: The scale of production will be critical here. You may want to run a few controlled pilot schemes. Maggots can be produced massively through the house fly (musca domestica). These house flies can be attracted using rotten meat and can be feed with semi-solid food mixture (powdered milk, liquid milk, ground sugar, etc). after copulation, the females lay eggs in a set moist trays containing poultry manure or otherwise. The larvae are allowed to grow for some days.

Processing & Harvesting: When the maggots are big enough, they are harvested and treated for packaging. Completely understanding the stages of your production will be critical. knowing the impact of specific processes and fly species on the quality of your finished product. To also know your level of controls on their ambient climate and any other necessary conditions for successful production.

This field is a relatively new one, and you may come up with proprietary ways of doing your own production. This could give you a competitive advantage and many investors will be very interested in getting to know any new technology that is producing results.

Your Marketing, Packaging, and Distribution: You will require a robust marketing plan to be successful in this business. Get creative here – standardised and very attractive packaging and advertising will be helpful. Your marketing strategy will include elaborate user education and enlightenment, sales support services, continuous client testimonial systems. You require both online and offline marketing strategies. You could organize seminars, training, and workshops for target clients, trade groups, farmers, etc. This will position you as an expert in the industry and give you greater exposure.

Be diligent and thorough in your understanding of the business details – Get started and keep an open mind. Be quick to learn trends and new imaginations in your line of business. Persistence and the determination to succeed are the most important skills you bring to the table . . .

SEE ALSO: Get creative – How to start a mushroom production business