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Durham University

Department of Biosciences


Publication details for Dr Elaine Fitches

Roffeis, Martin, Wakefield, Maureen Elizabeth, Almeida, Joana, Alves Valada, Tatiana Raquel, Devic, Emilie, Koné, N'Golopé, Kenis, Marc, Nacambo, Saidou, Fitches, Elaine Charlotte, Koko, Gabriel K.D., Mathijs, Erik, Achten, Wouter M.J. & Muys, Bart (2018). Life cycle cost assessment of insect based feed production in West Africa. Journal of Cleaner Production 199: 792-806.

Author(s) from Durham


While there is a growing body of research investigating the technical feasibility and nutritional properties of insect based feeds (IBFs), thus far little attention has been devoted to gauge the economic implications of implementation. This study has investigated the economic performance of ex-ante modelled IBF production systems operating in the geographical context of West Africa. A Life Cycle Cost (LCC) analysis of recently published life cycle inventory (LCI) data served as a basis to analyse and compare the economic performances of IBF production systems using Musca domestica and Hermetia illucens reared on different substrates. To gauge the application potential of IBF in West Africa, estimated breakeven sale prices of IBFs were benchmarked against the customary market prices of conventional feeds. The results show that the economic performance of IBF production in West Africa is largely determined by the costs attributed to labour and the procurement of rearing substrates, attesting economic advantages to the production of M. domestica larvae by measure of breakeven price (1.28–1.74 EUR/kg IBF) and LCC (1.72–1.99 EUR/kg IBF). A comparison of the breakeven sale prices of IBF with market prices of conventional feeds suggest that IBF has potential to substitute imported fishmeal, but findings offer no support for conjectured economic advantages over plant based feeds.