For many young people, agriculture is not a desirable career, but a group of young men in Tanzania have embraced it, reaping rewards and creating jobs. Otaigo Elisha, a 32-year-old MSc. Environmental Economics graduate, partnered with three university classmates to start NovFeed TZ in 2017. They produce affordable fish feed using black soldier flies and also engage in vegetable and fruit farming in Dar es Salaam.

The idea originated from Otaigo’s trip to Indonesia, where he saw the significant impact of the fisheries sector. Inspired, he and his partners began producing fish feed locally, using black soldier flies to convert organic waste into protein, making their product 30% cheaper than commercial alternatives. This process not only produces feed but also helps the ecosystem through a circular economy by using the waste remains as fertilizer.

NovFeed TZ has expanded to include trials of organic fertilizer and greenhouse farming of vegetables and fruits. Otaigo’s journey began with the IITA Youth Agripreneurship program, where he gained technical skills and exposure to agribusiness. Despite initial skepticism from his family, his success has inspired them and others to pursue farming. 

The company employs four full-time youths and provides income opportunities for 21 others through a model where produce is taken on credit and sold at the market. NovFeed also serves as a practical learning site, inspiring and training young agripreneurs. The team’s success is attributed to passion, focus, expertise, and teamwork, with significant support from the IITA-Tanzania Youth Agripreneurs program.

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