Pretty Fly

This just in from our Agriculture correspondent:
Great news for the Western Cape agricultural sector. We farm sheeps, cows, pigs and the like. We have pretty canola fields. Grain, lots of grain: it makes our beer. We do grapes really, really well.
And now, we’re about to do flies. Common houseflies, black soldier flies and blowflies.
We’re about to have [clarkson] the biggest fly farm – in the world! [/clarkson]

8,500,000,000 of the little buggers.

That’s a lot of flies.

The 8 500 square-metre undercover facility, being built by Gibraltar-based AgriProtein, is due to be completed next year and aims to produce 23.5 metric tonnes of insect-based protein meal and oils and 50 tonnes of fertiliser a day. Fish and chicken farmers have already signed contracts to buy the feed, an alternative to soy and fishmeal, according to Jason Drew, the company’s co-founder.

That 23.5 tonnes of “insect-based protein meal” is a long-winded and fancy way of saying “maggots”. Can you imagine 23.5 tonnes of maggots? Each day? That’s almost 9,000 tonnes of maggots every year. From this one facility alone.
Fear Factor eat your heart out (but not like this).

It might not sound like the nicest thing in the world, because 8.5 billion flies eating rotting food, manure and abattoir waste isn’t the nicest thing in the world UNLESS YOU’RE A FLY AND IF SO, HOW THE HELL ARE YOU READING THIS?, but the science is good, it’s ecologically sound and it makes commercial sense.

My only concern is that the insects will be:

housed in giant cages

Presumably, they’ve considered the size of their livestock and calculated the space between the bars of the cages accordingly, right?