Priscilla Musenge was so passionate about environmental sustainability and climate change that she started an organic farming project. And in 2018 she founded and became the chief executive officer of Entomo Farm. To operate the farm, Musenge had to leave the hospitality, marketing and insurance sector for which she worked for 14 years but the experience she gained there came in handy at her farm.
Based in her home country, Zambia, Entomo Farm is a small scale enterprise, which specialises in breeding Black Soldier fly. Before she set up the company, Musenge was involved in other businesses which folded because she lacked financial resources to sustain them. As a climate change enthusiast, Musenge ensures that most of her farming activities are not harmful to the environment and, more importantly, they align with global measures to curb the greenhouse gas emissions.
Turning larvae into a delicacy
Entomo Farm’s main focus is to turn food waste into a sustainable, organic and inexpensive organic feed and fertiliser for small and medium scale chicken, fish and pig farmers by breeding the Black Soldier fly for its larvae. The insect’s larvae are packed with rich crude protein, crude fat and other similar health boosting nutrients. She says their long term objective is to introduce the larvae and other insects for human consumption.
She says she came to know about the Black Soldier fly following an increase in feed prices made it difficult for her to continue farming in chickens. The Black Soldier fly provides an affordable feed or protein alternatives for chicken, fish and pig farmers. Musenge says the larvae is among the main and primary sources of protein. “Some of its unique characteristics include the fact that it is higher in protein at around 43% compared to that of soya beans at around 35%; soya beans being the main protein ingredient in plant based feed. Additionally, the main raw material used is organic household waste which makes it environmentally friendly and in turn helps reduce the carbon footprint and mitigate climate change,” says Musenge.
Musenge has received several accolades in recognition of her entrepreneurial acumen and for her passion for environmental sustainability. Among some of her awards are:
- She was one of the top 10 finalists of the inaugural cohort of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs in 2020, a White House Initiative.
- In the same year, her start-up also received a grant in sustainable waste management from United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Zambia.
- She most recently also won 2nd prize in the world’s largest green business ideas competition – the 2021 Climate Launchpad business competition and
- She was one of the recipients of the inaugural 2022 ZANACO (Zambia National Commercial Bank) awards in Zambia.
Positive outlook about the future
Regarding the future, Musenge sounded optimistic about her company’s future growth. She says she want to include up to 200 000 women and youth-led agricultural households into her operations. “This will be done by our out-grower programme where we will provide five day old larvae which will be fed to our specifications and sold back to us. By doing this, we will not only help these households, particularly the youth, to be self-reliant and self-sustaining without having to indulge in vices like early marriages, abusive relationships and the use of alcohol and drugs.”
In addition, Musenge says she also promotes and advocates, with the assistance of communities and small scale farmers, the significance of 3 Rs – re-use, reduce, recycle, adding this will concientise communities about her business and its benefits as well as encourage people to “give back” something positive to the environment while creating a circular economy.