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The Business Incubation Platform (BIP) of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan in its efforts to make feeds more available to the livestock farmers that specialize in fishery, poultry and piggery has commenced 13 weeks training on Insects for feed for some agribusiness entrepreneurs selected across the country.

IITA Business Incubation Platform in conjunction with the Dutch government and some other partners on Monday at the Agribusiness Building of IITA commenced the 13 weeks training tagged Insects4feed Entrepreneurs Incubation Program with the aim of creating a sustainable and well nutritional feeds for the livestock industries.
The training that started today, Monday, 9th October, 2023 is expected to end on 24 January, 2024.
While speaking at the event, Dr. Debo Akande the Executive Adviser to Governor Makinde on Agribusiness and International Cooperation and Development, who also doubles as the  Director in IITA and CEO of IITA Incubation Business Platform noted that the project Insects4Feed project is a new project in Nigeria.

He said, “Of course there could have been some bit and pieces done around it before but this project is bringing a more structure approach into insects for feed project in Nigeria and this is supported by the Dutch government and NGN and they’re doing what we called proof of concept within IITA to understand weather it’s technical viability, it is  economical viability and venture assessment as well and when all these are known then we can ask the private sector to start engaging.”

“So, what we’ve done as far as we are concerned in IITA through the incubation system,  we have done the technical viability and we know is viable, we have done the economical analysis and we know is economical, now we’re training the entrepreneurs who are like the first pilot that will be the venture owners of this business within the state and when we’ve seen how they’ve grown, then it becomes a project that will be expanded beyond this space. This project will surely address some of the problems our livestock farmers are having with feeds now, this project would complement it, because this is a materials that is also use in feeds that could replace some other materials and that’s one of the major advantage. Feeds has become a major problem in Nigeria now especially for the poultry industries, this is going to complement it and reduce the high cost of the feeds.”

“The other advantage is that these insects consume solid waste, so the solid waste in town that are being littered all over the place can also be use for all these insects to consume and that is becoming an impactful on the environment to reduce environmental impact and problems as well, this is making us to use materials that are natural to our own environment as part of the feeds that the animals should be consuming and this is a great thing for us to look into and again this fit in strongly into the plans of His Excellency the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde in expanding the agricultural sector within the state from the usual to unusual terrain.
“Strongly this is a new approach, it has not been there before and this will create new existence for job employment and opportunities, it will create new set of businesses and entrepreneurs will grow out of this project, they will recruit people and they will sell and generate revenue and as they grow they will become part of the tax payers in the state, so any business that is legal and advantageous and suited the environment in any society add to the economy either directly or indirectly.”
“So, the sustainability is for the private sector, and what we’re doing today is a major plan for the sustainability of this project , in this past we won’t bring private sector on board on time, we will wait till we get all these things right before we bring them on board but now even from the time we have technical viability and economical assessments we’re already bringing the private sector on board today to ensure that entrepreneurs are included and they start driving the project. So, in IITA we do monitoring and evaluation and we do reports over years of period and get data before we can now hand it over to the state and we have good structure with the state and most of these entrepreneurs will be part of the state structure that will form part of what we are developing in Oyo State.”
In her words the Business Development Officer fitr the IITA Business Incubation Platform and the lead of the project from the IITA, Mrs Ayeni Victoria said, “entrepreneurship incubation program is all about providing alternative protein source for our feed mills and it is sustainable and efficient.”
Ayeni further noted that the project is efficient. She said “Our livestock farmers can get alternative protein for livestock feed in an affordable and accessible ways. All the food ways we have in our homes and the food wasting in the market can be use to feed the insects, thereby generating the required protein that we need for the livestock industry and that is excellent because we have a lot of waste, especially around the market and what we need is just bringing it for insects to feed and I think that’s a balanced economy because nothing is wasted.”
“My expectations from the participants is that this program is not limited to the youth alone as we have both the youth and the adult here for this training,  so we are expecting that at the end of this program which is 13 weeks duration from October to January 2024 at the end each of them will be able to owned an insects for feed farm whereby they produce insects for feed and make it available en-mass for the livestock industries in Nigeria and that’s the way to go, it’s not as business as usual.”
“This is a program that will expose the participants to both theory and practical sessions just to ensure they know how to do this business, they would write their business plan, they will interact with themselves because they come from different parts of the country and they come form diverse backgrounds and we would link them to the market so definitely that’s the key in this business, and at the end of the training we will keep on supporting them to ensure they continue with what they need to do and we will make sure they’re able to expand without any difficulties.”
“The period of the production is within 45 to 47 days, and we have different value chain in the insects for feed, so they can produce the egg, they can produce larvae, pre-pupea, pupea, we even have frass, the sub straights that we gain from the feeds is not a wasted product it can be turn to manure for farmers which is economic friendly. My words for the participants is that they should take this program serious because this is a founded project which means they’re not paying for it, it is a golden opportunity that they need to take right now, they need to make use of it in bettering their lives.”
“I also want to address the youth to let into this project because it’s not yet known like any other sector, they should tap into it and earn more money and gain more access to business, established themselves bring in new people, train them and be successful so the sky is their starting point. So I’m calling the youths to tap into this insects for feed project and make a better living from it.”
One of the participants, a livestock cum black soldier fly farming, Ambassador Shola Akintunde, a retired diplomat said my motive here today is to sharpen my skills in the business to know much about what I have been doing and to see if have been doing it right or not, so I’m here to update myself, because no knowledge gained is lost, and I can say I’m here for networking too.There is life in farming, there are hiding wealth in agriculture.

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