The founder of Eco Fly Cambodia is preparing to relaunch her business with a renewed determination and focus on the innovative business approach of feeding waste to larvae to provide essential nutrients for animals and reduce reliance on chemical fertilizers.
Van Bella, the founder of Eco Fly Cambodia, is making waves in waste management by utilizing black soldier fly (BSF) larvae to address organic waste and create sustainable solutions.
Bella began studying raising larvae in Vietnam during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, bringing her expertise back to her home province of Siem Reap.
With two degrees in management and accounting, Bella recognized the harmful impact of organic waste, which can produce methane - a greenhouse gas. Determined to find a solution, she saw the potential in converting waste into food for the BSF larvae.
"We can convert all that waste into the food of the larvae," Bella explained, adding that larvae food is organic waste, including kitchen waste, food waste, and spoiled produce from markets.
While larger countries have implemented similar practices to tackle waste issues on a large scale, Bella emphasized the need for technology due to the presence of germs and bacteria in some waste materials.
The special feature of the worms, which contain between 36 and 42 percent protein, caught Bella's attention. She successfully developed a recipe for local chicken feed using the high-protein diet derived from the larvae.
Bella's recipe is unique and original, with the worms a suitable recipe for various animal feeds, such as chickens, fish, and cows. She stressed the importance of clear business planning, even for small-scale operations.
The production process of the larvae circular lasts 45 days, with 10 to 14 days dedicated to harvesting the meat. While the care required is relatively easy, the challenge lies in the Cambodian context, where land for worm breeding is pungent. In addition, obtaining waste from markets can be costly.
To ensure sustainability, Bella plans to determine the daily production estimate based on demand from farms and the marketplace. She added that technical issues are crucial for maintaining quality standards.
The target customers for this business are family and business farms who feed chicken, fish, and other animals.
Bella's dedication to combating organic waste and creating sustainable solutions showcases the potential for individuals to make a substantial impact on waste management and environmental sustainability.
"I failed because I didn't have enough time to devote to my business while continuing my studies, and I lacked a clear business model," she said, adding that her determination and perseverance has propelled her to make a fresh start.
Undeterred by past challenges, Bella is gearing up for the relaunch of Eco Fly Cambodia in November. Her fearlessness and positive mindset have played a pivotal role in her journey, particularly in overcoming her initial apprehension towards working with larvae.
Reflecting on her experience, Bella advises aspiring entrepreneurs in this field to prioritize clarity when developing their business plans. She believes that a well-defined and sustainable business model is crucial for achieving success.
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