This past week I attended the 1st Conference on Insects as Food & Feed in Africa. The conference was held in Harare, Zimbabwe.
First, thank you to my host, Dr. Robert Musundire, for inviting me to attend and present on BSF and the potential growth for the insects as food and feed sector. I had a wonderful time.
Second, thanks to Dr. Moses Zimba from the University of Zimbabwe for taking the time to show me around Harare. Moses was a Fulbright recipient that visited my lab at Texas A&M to learn more about decomposition but as it relates to forensics. I enjoyed meeting your friends, watching a bit of "soccer", eating wonderful beef (Texas has a serious competitor), and simply being invited into your personal life.... a true experience I will never forget.
And, third, it was wonderful catching up with old friends and making new ones during the conference. As I said, to the researchers I met at the conference, my lab is always open for your students to visit.
So, what did I learn from the conference? Well, one thing I want to state up front. I attend a lot of conference around the world, and it is rare that I leave them so inspired and energized as I did with this one. I truly believe Africa will lead the way in terms of mass production and supplying the world with many types of insects on an industrial scale for human and other animal consumption. Simply put-
Africa will Become the Bread Basket of Insect Agriculture
Why do I say this? Well, I believe this for several reasons- many that are obvious, 1) available space, 2) resources, and 3) labor.
But, what I detected in the crowd that really impressed me is the conglomerate of people with a fearless vision that is not bridled by paradigms guiding other parts of the world with regards to this industry.
In summary- where you go, I will go.... I am not here to lead you but follow. I am a resource to help you when needed, a sounding board for your ideas, and a champion for you.
My life has been blessed by this experience- thank you!
Jeffery K. Tomberlin, PhD, Humbled
Individuals with over 25 years research experience with the black soldier fly. We are passionate about the science behind the black soldier fly and its ability to convert waste to protein.
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