Daniel Nyere, a young entrepreneur from Kenya dreaming about building a prosperous company providing cheaper feed for animals and create new job opportunities for local people, met with SLU researcher, Björn Vinnerås, to develop his business on insects as a source for animal feed.
Daniel Nyere is like other students in Africa or elsewhere. He is a student at JKUAT, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, in Kenya taking electrical and computer engineering courses. The only unique thing is that, by coincidence, he got an excellent idea and became an entrepreneur with focus on insects, more specifically a maggot which is the larvae stage of house flies, in order to produce animal feed used by farmers afterwards. The initial idea came along with his mum who is a poultry farmer and faces many problems as other African farmers do and one of the problems is high costs of production. Due to the evidence that oceans are almost depleted of fish, which is the main source of the feed for animals in Africa, the prices for feed made from fish are so high and also there is a high soil competition for feed made from soya beans, which is a very labour intensive and it occupies a place for human food on the agricultural land. Daniel realized that the feed for chickens is too expensive and tried to find out how to decrease the costs of production and find some substituent for fish or soya beans which would be more convenient for longer storage and would have more nutritious content in order to feed animals properly. The feed from maggots seems to be very nutritious containing a lot of protein. The process of rearing maggots starts with house flies which lay eggs and from those eggs maggots came out. The maggots are crushed after a day and mixed with other components (e. g. seed flowers) and the feed for animals is prepared.
Daniel and Björn Vinnerås
In 2017, Daniel started his business a year after this idea had came to his mind. He heard from his friends about Hand in Hand, an international NGO (non-governmental organisation) combating poverty through entrepreneurship providing training for people interested in starting their own business. The Hand in Hand business model is based on four steps – social mobilization, business training, saving/access to credit and market linkage. Through the Hand in Hand, the project “Peace and Prosperity”, aims at training 7000 young people to become entrepreneurs. Daniel learned how to save money which is the basis of financial literacy. With the experience he got through the trainings, he could save some money to start his own company. As a successful entrepreneur, Daniel has been selected as one of the winners of the Hand in Hand Youth Award 2018 and has been visiting Stockholm during a week in May, to gain new experiences and contacts including the visit to SLU in Uppsala.
Daniel and Guilio Zorzetto
What is the most important recipe for the success, he says: ’Do what you need not what you want now’, which are the most important words for every start-up business as he learned. Due to the trainings he was provided with, he was able to develop a market survey to compare what is already on the market and where are the niches. He decided to be a job creator and offer jobs to other people rather than to be employed by others. Nowadays, Daniel and his two peers take care of the business, nevertheless, he is heading higher and he wants to grow and expand having more employees and higher production, as well as building his own website with e-shop to get directly to the customers. Furthermore, he would like to diversify the production by using different kinds of flies as he was inspired during the visit to SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) in Uppsala, Sweden. During the visit at SLU, Daniel met with Björn Vinnerås (PhD), an associate professor of Environmental Engineering at SLU, who introduced him to the possibility of breeding the black soldier dragon fly, which is a fly from tropical climate used at the university for waste treatment purposes. As a future perspective, Daniel wants to build a prosperous company providing cheaper feed for animals and create new job opportunities for local people. He says: ‘I think there are so many brilliant ideas in Africa but most of the people lack knowledge and courage to implement them and that is why I want to show them that anything is possible.’