In Kenya, consumption of meat, fish and dairy products is rising, which increases demand for animal feeds. Many feeds rely on ingredients like maize which are also used for direct human consumption, thereby increasing food prices. Aquaculture feeds, meanwhile, often use protein obtained from wild ocean fish: this puts an unsustainable pressure on the aquatic environment.
Meanwhile, a vast but overlooked natural resource exists which is suitable for animal feed production: a wildly occurring plant which produces copious amounts of nutritious seeds. At present, these largely go to waste for lack of commercial use as well as avoidable contamination with vomi- and aflatoxins. Startle is developing a novel process to isolate high-protein ingredients and other useful constituents from this resource, and process this into nutritious, affordable quality feeds.
Startle is preparing to demonstrate the feasibility of scalable commercial production of these novel feeds; by setting up high volume harvesting networks with rural communities; by industrialising prototyped novel processing technologies; conducting controlled feeding trials; and undertaking marketing & sales demos through channels that reach small-scale farmers and local aquaculture producers.
Our end goal is to create a profitable business that changes an unused natural resource into a sustainable source for fish feed. This reduces pressure on oceans, generates incomes to disadvantaged communities, creates significant positive environmental impact and lowers the cost of animal feeds to small-scale farmers.