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Black Soldier Flies - a Cornerstone of South Africa's Climate Finance Initiative

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

Kickstarting Climate Finance in Developing Countries

Rows upon rows of plastic boxes march off into the distance. Incessant buzzing sounds fill the air. Millions of tiny heartbeats pulse rhythmically. The sun has just risen and Maltento Farm is open for business.

Located in Cape Town, South Africa, Maltento Farm is but one of thousands of black soldier fly farms scattered throughout the South African heartland. Such farms operate on a simple but powerful principle: fly larvae feed on waste products and transform potential ecological refuse into nutritious feed sources.

Black soldier fly farms are not only eco-friendly, but also present a life-changing solution to South Africa’s burgeoning food shortage problem. With the ongoing COVID pandemic, food supply bottlenecks mean 23% of South African households experienced hunger last summer. Similarly, as most farms operate as small businesses, breeding black soldier flies provides a steady income source for many at-risk South Africans.

A hugely transformative idea, black soldier fly farms represent 1 of 13 innovative low-carbon projects under the portfolio of South Africa’s Climate Finance Accelerator (CFA). Funded by the UK Government, the CFA aims to attract investment for sustainable South African projects. These include sustainable mobility alternatives to reduce carbon emissions in urban areas and growing the local renewable energies market. Collectively, these projects are expected to grant South African communities improved food security, energy access and regional connectivity.

Whilst still in its infancy, the CFA provides an inspiring dynamic for foreign capital to be introduced to developing countries for sustainable development. Indeed, it can be said that international cooperation will play the most important role in our transition to a more sustainable future.

Written by Ng Chee Mun


"Climate Finance Accelerator South Africa: First Cohort Of Projects Announced". 2021. Gov.Uk. 1.

Philipp, Jennifer. 2021. "Hunger In South Africa And Solutions - The Borgen Project". The Borgen Project.

"The South African Farm Turning Flies Into Food For Pets - And Maybe People". 2021. BBC News.

"Our Story - Maltento". 2021. Maltento.

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