Fabrice, FFO insect farmer, delivering larvae
Thank you for your continued support for Farms for Orphans! We couldn’t accomplish our work without you.
This past October I was in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, where our current activities take place, and have many updates to share with you.
As you know, our experimental farm and headquarters are located at the Congolese Health Ministry’s National Institute of Biomedical Research (INRB) complex in the district of Gombe in Kinshasa. Here, we are experimenting with various feeds and rearing container designs, and we continue to partner with several palm oil companies and researchers from INRB with the aim of increasing efficiency and farm yields.
Thanks to you, we have come so far since first starting this project! The FFO experimental farm is thriving, so much so that we are now able to provide supplemental larvae to our partners that have not yet gotten their own farms fully up and running. One of our orphanage partners, for instance, suffered the loss of one of their staff earlier this year; because this person was also their primary insect farmer, their farming operations were temporarily suspended. Farms for Orphans is excited that we can continue to supply the youth of this orphanage with palm weevil larvae, ensuring them a healthy and sustainable source of protein and micronutrients.
It was such a joy to go with FFO’s insect farmer, Fabrice, to deliver the larvae. The orphanage staff and children were happy to receive them as well as formula FFO purchased for the little ones.
Ambassador Hammer and the US Embassy in Kinshasa
At the beginning of 2019 I had the pleasure of meeting the US Ambassador to the DR Congo, Mike Hammer. Ambassador Hammer was intrigued by our work and has proposed ways in which the US Embassy can support FFO’s ability to reach greater numbers of youth within the country. I spent some time working to advance these efforts during my recent stay in Kinshasa. The collaborations are still in development, but we hope to have more concrete information to provide in the coming months. Stay tuned for news!
Updates from the University of Kinshasa
FFO is installing a converted shipping container at the University of Kinshasa (UNIKIN). As I mentioned in my last update, UNIKIN has donated land where, in partnership with the Congolese nonprofit Centre D’etude et D’appui Technique aux Initiatives Locales de Developpement (CEATILD), we are developing facilities for an agricultural research and training center to provide Congolese youth with a greater range of sustainable agricultural offerings. Here, cricket and silkworm farming, beekeeping, aquaculture and poultry production are already underway. The shipping container will provide space for palm weevil farming.
While in Kinshasa, I met with Dr. Patrick Mafwila, who is overseeing our joint program at UNIKIN. Dr. Mafwila’s expertise is in developing aquaculture systems. He was excited to show me the catfish and tilapia rearing tanks.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states, “The fisheries and aquaculture sector plays and can continue to play a prominent role in world food security. Fish is a vital source of food including protein and micronutrients, particularly for many low-income populations, and the sector also contributes to economic growth and development by being a source of employment, livelihoods and income to people engaged in aquaculture.”
Thanks to Dr. Mafwila’s efforts, we will be able to offer our orphanage partners and youth we serve training in aquaculture as well as catfish and tilapia fingerlings to begin rearing their own fish.
Consider giving the gift of grubs this holiday season!
As the end of the year approaches, consider making a donation to Farms for Orphans on behalf of the loved ones on your list who have everything they need… who have a taste for the unusual… or who love kids, the planet, or sustainable agriculture! Farms for Orphans donations are fully tax-deductible, and your gift will go on giving to many deserving kids through 2020 and beyond. Donations to FFO may be made through Global Giving (https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/feed-empower-drcongos-orphans-through-insect-farming/).
Dr. Amy Franklin
Founder and CEO
Farms for Orphans, Inc.
Future FFO #YouthFarmer
Palm weevil larvae are a popular delicacy in DRC
Catfish rearing tanks
Drs Mafwila & Franklin, #ZeroHunger warriors