Probha Aurora launched ‘Black Soldier Fly: Eco-Friendly Farming and Nutrition Solutions’
It’s almost 3 pm on the clock. Kukhrali, Tabrardangi, Municipality Ward No.# 6 attended by a Group of Dignitaries from Satkhira District. Honorable Additional Deputy Commissioner and a Group of Dignitaries from Dhaka also attended the inauguration. An establishment built in an environmentally friendly manner is of utmost interest to everyone. A paradigmatic initiative in tackling zero waste, circular economy and climate change writ large outside of the farm – “Black Soldier Fly: Eco-Friendly Farming and Nutrition Solutions”. The name itself can draw one’s interest.
Some of the instructions on the way in are quite eye-catching. The instruction mentions: No entry with plastic, No entry with food, Maintain a smoke-free environment, No littering in water, Use mask, gloves before entering, Dispose mask and gloves in a designated place after exiting the farm, etc. This indicates that this farm solely focuses on the environment. On the farm, a type of beneficial fly is cultivated from the organic waste collected from the garbage; especially from the municipality. The fly is used as a high-protein feed for the poultry industry. There are native fish, native chickens, and native ducks being raised since this initiative encourages the cultivation of native species out of love for the nation. The farm reuses the organic manure they create through an equitable process to utilize it for indoor plant cultivation. As a result, no resources will be wasted during this endeavor. So in order, it is an illustration of zero waste. In accordance with the 5-year theory, this research also commences a procedure that results in an exemplary case of the circular economy. Sabuj Sathi- Eco-Friendly Center has been set up with the farm to promote eco-friendly products, with the aim of creating awareness among local people as well as encouraging the use of eco-friendly products.
The guests mentioned that the farm showcased several commendable features during their visit. One aspect highlighted was the conscious adoption and promotion of environmentally responsible practices, along with providing instructions on their implementation. The local community has shown great commitment in ensuring affordable poultry feed and maintaining high standards of public health nutrition. Furthermore, the farm is primarily led by young individuals and has the potential to generate employment opportunities for youth. While the initiative is praiseworthy, there is room for improvement by incorporating modern technical solutions and other advancements.
After visiting the farm, everyone assembled in the Satkhira district’s District Commissioner’s auditorium at 4:30 p.m. At the event, as the chief guest, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Satkhira District, Sheikh Moinul Islam Moin made the announcement of the ceremonial opening of this farm. Additionally, a special delegation from Dhaka attended the ceremony. Among those who were in the delegation: Emeritus Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU), Former Vice-Chancellor, (BAU), Former Member, Department of Agriculture and General Economics, Bangladesh Planning Commission, Dr. M. A. Sattar Mandal; Former Executive Chairman of Krishi Gobeshona Foundation (KGF); Wais Kabir; Former Representative of John Hopkins, Yasmin Siddiqua; Dalia Das and others. The event was presided over by Bidhan Chandra Pal, founder and managing director of Probha Aurora.In addition, senior officers from Bank Alfalah attended the event virtually via Zoom. The entire event was conducted by Public Health Foundation, Bangladesh and Former Officer, ICDDR,B, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Aftab Uddin. Among those who have participated as special guests from the local level are: Md Abul Kalam, Editor and Publisher, The Weekly Mukto Shadhin; Md Hadiuzzaman, Senior Assistant Director, District Fisheries Office, Satkhira and others. Assistant Manager, Research and Special Initiatives, Ms. Mahinoor Nazia Farah and Satkhira District Coordinator of Ecofriendly and Nutritious Farm, Mr. Khandokar Yeasir from Probha Aurora, gave a detailed presentation on the initiative. They mentioned in their presentation that during the pilot program’s initial phase, there is a plan to handle around 2.5 tons of organic garbage annually. But depending on patronage and collaboration, it might be altered or even increased. They additionally stated that at this time with the revenue that will be generated from here, the multi-faceted work of dealing with climate change conducted by Probha Aurora will be made more integrated.
In the speech of the chief guest, Additional Deputy Commissioner thanked Probha Aurora for this initiative at Sathkhira District and stated that it is appropriate to choose Satkhira because waste management is not yet fully institutionalized here. He also mentioned how great of a move it is in a place like this, where the poultry sector is also growing. Furthermore, He requested academic institutions to be involved in this initiative and research and said that the Satkhira district administration will always support the efforts of Probha Aurora. As a partner institution in this project, he advised setting up a separate conversation with the municipality.
As the main speaker, Dr. M. A. Sattar Mandal gave a speech. In his speech, he stated that this initiative is a commendable approach – Black Soldier Fly Farm, a new innovation in the production of healthy animal feed for environmentally friendly food production. He also advised that to move this forward, we need to work in public-private and public-public partnerships. For the successful conduct of the research aspect of this program, it is necessary to increase the collaborative activities with the concerned scientist at the university level.
In the speech of the special guest, Wais Kabir said, it is a proven technology based solution in other parts of the world or in India. In that case, it is necessary to expand the scope of Bangladesh’s adaptive research and development in order to accelerate the development of technology-based agriculture in this country.
The founder and managing director of Probha Aurora, the organization behind the event, Bidhan Chandra Pal, stated that Probha Aurora chose this initiative because it has a close relationship with climate change and a connection to environmental protection. He mentioned that from a variety of perspectives, this program is sustainable because it won’t harm the environment and instead will usher in a new way of thinking about how to deal with the effects of climate change. “We are developing this initiative in a standardized way with the idea of replicating it in other places and even outside the country,” he stated. “It is not only a farm, but it will also serve as a learning lab for students, from where they can learn about circular economy, organic waste, 5R’s etc. can grasp a precise concept. Mr. Bidhan also said that the students of Satkhira district will also get the opportunity to gain practical knowledge about the environment and become environmentally friendly people by becoming familiar with the environmentally friendly practices. He mentioned that in the future various environmentally friendly technologies including robotic solutions, eco-creation machines will be considered in this initiative. Besides, he also expressed the opinion that the initiative will be made bigger through which all the organic waste in the entire southern region will be solved in a fair and environmentally friendly manner. The renowned bank, Bank Alfalah has provided exceptional help in the implementation of this initiative, and the organization expresses special gratitude to them. From Bank Alfalah, Head of Marketing, Product Development and Service Quality, Mr. Mustafa Habib E Rabbi, was virtually involved in this event from the Dhaka office. He mentioned in his brief speech that they were happy to see the auspicious opening of the initiative. Also, added by him was that, “We are and will be with this initiative”.
It is pertinent to mention that Probha Aurora is also implementing some significant programs in Bangladesh as the National Operator of Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), the world’s largest environmental education institution in Satkhira District.