Harnessing sustainable development opportunities from oil palm waste: Black Soldier fly larvae as a novel income stream in Malaysia

Lead Research Organisation: University of York
Department Name: Biology

Abstract

The desired impact of this multidisciplinary NFIS project is to enhance livelihood and business opportunities by adding value to plant based waste produced by palm oil mills in Malaysia. We will use microbes to convert oil palm residues into a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable safe source of feed for production of Black Soldier Fly larvae (BSFL), which can be used as fish feed by aquaculture businesses, and will assess its scalability as a novel income stream.
We have demonstrated as part of our previous Newton project that microbial processes developed for the biorefining of oil palm residues can also be used to release nutrients from crop residues to provide feed for BSFL. The NFIS will allow us to capitalise on this discovery and broaden the impact of our research. We will optimise biomass treatment on a large scale to demonstrate that BSFL production can be achieved in an industrial setting. The translation of this commercial opportunity will be carried out in collaboration with Fera Science Ltd and an SME Entofoods in Malaysia. Our longer-term vision is to extend the technology into lower income DAC countries in Asia and beyond.
Clear, comprehensive stakeholder engagement is vital to ensure the technology is taken up and translated into impacts that improve people's lives, generate economic growth and deliver change. Engagement of stakeholders from the oil palm industry, fish farms, commercial influencers and policymakers will take place throughout the project. The initiative is in line with 11th Malaysia Plan where one of the new priorities is enhancing environmental sustainability through green growth, and Malaysia's National Policy on Science, Technology & Innovation: Strategic thrust 1: Advancing scientific and social research, development & commercialisation to address national priorities, challenges and new opportunities.

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