top of page

Soil or dirt? It's a substance that's often forgotten about. Right beneath our feet, but its role in regenerative agriculture and fighting climate change is immense. The UN predicts that we only have 60 harvests left at the current rate at which our topsoil is being washed or blown away! The reason for this is the unsustainable management practices being used in conventional agriculture. Overgrazing pastures with livestock, excessive tillage and plowing, which destroys the soil structure, monocropping, and heavy chemical usage is killing the living bacteria in the soil which is vital for growing food in the first place! So why is our SOIL so important? Destroying the soil is destroying humanity. Alarmingly, it is putting us at risk of increasing global hunger and malnutrition rates. Without healthy topsoil, our farmers will be unable to produce food to solve the massive nutrient deficiency problems humanity faces.

My farmers toolbox So what would I do differently as a regenerative farmer to solve this soil crisis? Well, I like to think that I have a 'toolbox' of management practices I can use to rebuild and fix the soil on my farm. My toolbox currently consists of: 1. Composting 2. Worms

3. Frass

4. Rotational grazing of poultry and dairy cows

6. Cover crops

7. Rest and Recover

Our chickens graze outside on the pasture. They have a varied diet of grains, grasses, dudus and insects. What they leave behind is their manure which feeds the soil. Regnerative Agriculture also combats climate change. As for every 1% increase in soil organic matter (Using manure from holistic livestock management) we are able to achieve an 8% increase in water infiltration into the soil. Hence, the soil carbon cycle takes off once there is rain or when we have to continue to irrigate our pastures. In Sum, healthy soil leads to healthy plants. Healthy plants = healthy animals. Healthy animals = healthy people and ecosystems! Thanks for supporting our regenerative projects! George

The Opener:

The Black Soldier Fly

Black Soldier Flies (BSF), scientifically known as Hermetia illucens are common flies found naturally in most countries of the world, Kenya being one of them. BSF is the opener to a successful regenerative poultry farming enterprise i.e., Zero waste to value, less footprint (less resource use), nourishing people and planet, & supports nutrient cycling/regeneration

Waste to Value

Black Soldier Fly Larvae (BSFL) is such an alternative. Recognized to be one of the efficient insects for converting macronutrients of waste into viable protein (FAO 2017) and not just protein, the residue that is left behind after the BSFL have fed on a biowaste substrate. A product that has be found to perform better than commercial organic and inorganic fertilizers (ICIPE 2020). With a life cycle of about five to six weeks from egg-larvae-pupae-adult, these insects have gained popularity in the recent years due to the ability of the BSF larvae to convert waste to value in a very short period of time i.e., between 10 to 14 days.

Less resource use (Land & Water)

BSF unlike conventional animal feed protein sources such as soy and fishmeal require less resources (Land & Water). It is estimated that one square meter of soy can produce up to 0.5kgs of feed per year while a BSF farm can produce up to 750kgs of feed using the same amount of land. Significant cubic meters of water are required to produces a 1kg of fish feed compared to what is needed to produce an equivalent BSFL meal.

Annually, Kenya imports over 100,000 metric tons of soybean meal and about 150 metric tons of soy protein concentrates, and textured soy protein from China (Global Trade Atlas), soy has also been imported from Tanzania and Zambia. This is due to the extensive resources needed to grow soya and the huge demand in the market for feed and food.

BSF stands out as a sustainable alternative compared to the conventional animal protein source.

Nourishing people and Planet

High value and sustainable plant and animal nutrients at an inexpensive cost. The insects grow on bio waste, a readily available resource in many parts of the world. Making the cost of production way low. The end product of the bio conversion supply high value protein and much needed micronutrients needed for quality growth in livestock production and increase plant production.

Figure 2: Black soldier fly larvae (animal protein)

Intern high quality and quantity of food is produced to sustainable feed a hungry and fast-growing population worldwide.

Figure 3: Nutritious chicken meat from BSFL based feed

Figure 4: Ololo Pasture raised eggs supplemented with BSFL based feeds


Regenerative food system = Good for people, planet & economy

The main objectives of a regenerative food system are to supply nutritious food for people, maintain a cleaner environment, reduce human-animal competition for food and enhance human-animal-plant integration, reduces waste and promote nutrient cycling, uses less resources (land and water) but increase production and last but most important save on unnecessary costs. BSF meets these objectives and more by contributing to net zero economy

Case Study at Ololo Farm

Figure 6: Ololo Farm Chicken on Pasture

Ololo Farm is proud of its regenerative farming system, farming in a way that benefits the people, planet and the economy. Unlike conventional systems whose main design is based on a linear model i.e., take-make-waste. Ololo farm’s system is designed to contribute to a more circular and net zero economy i.e., take less-make better-handle smarter. Rather than rely heavily on expensive and toxic pesticides and chemicals fertilizers to grow our plants and animals we focus on cycling nutrients on farm. Maintaining vegetation cover by growing pasture and trees, practicing rotational grazing and cropping, and composting rather than disposing our waste.

Figure 7: BSFL in the pupae stage

Introducing insects into our integrated livestock system not only adds value by contribute to our circular system but it saves us up to 40% of our production costs and increases our production significantly. Waste from our kitchens and farm is upcycled to make animal protein (BSFL) and organic manure for plants (Frass). After months of using BSFL included feeds, we have seen a significant improvement in our poultry production i.e., better growth rates, feed conversion efficiency and egg production.

Figure 8: Ololo Farm BSF Unit

Our onsite medium scale unit has enabled us to sufficiently convert our kitchen scraps (handling waste smatter) into high value Ag inputs (making better), and supported our ongoing farm trials on ultimate potential of BSF in a small-scale poultry enterprise, archiving all this with less space and water requirement (taking less).

Changemaker: Kevin Makere

Country of Implementation: Kenya

The Food Waste Index Report 2021 by UNEP and Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) indicates that every Kenyan throws away an average of 99 kilograms of food every year, with the country wasting a total of 5.2 tonnes of food every 12 months. Most of this food waste is dumped in the many landfills in and around Nairobi.

This poses a major threat to the country's food security and is contributing greatly to the current global climate change crisis. Kevin with support from his friend George both young devoted farmers living and farming in Nairobi, Kenya are on a mission to make their community more food secure by making their food system more circular, utilizing food waste as a resource to make more food.

Upcycling food waste that would have otherwise ended up in landfills into high-value agricultural inputs i.e., Black soldier fly (BSF) larvae for livestock feed and organic manure (Frass) for growing trees and crops with the help of black soldier flies. And now they seek to empower other farmers to do the same through training and action. Targeting a total of 100 young farmers and youth in their community directly, Kevin seeks to share his knowledge and experience in BSF farming and a circular food production system.

bottom of page