A young Vietnamese engineer left his job to raise flies and is now earning 80 million VND a month. Ironic to what the usual reaction of the many is, Nguyen Chi Canh, a 28-year-old resident of An Nhon Tay commune in Cu Chi district breeds flies for a living. A similar story to a local Vietnamese selling live cockroaches to earn!
He used to be a construction engineer who left his profession to go home and earn more from farming a species of flies known to be a black soldier fly with a scientific name ‘Hermetia Illucena’. This type of fly belongs to the family of ‘Stratiomyidae’ – black soldiers fly to the locals of Vietnam.
Why are these flies so expensive? Black soldiers fly larvae are considered the most effective when it comes to converting compost waste into animal feed.
The larva breeding cages have been personally designed by Mr. Canh to save cost. In raising the black soldiers fly, a well-maintained temperature ranging from 25-37 degrees is a must for them to grow. All of the process involved in raising these flies have been studied by Mr. Canh.
At first, everyone laughed and mocked him for his idea of building a business out of raising flies – even his own family disregarded the thought and strongly disagreed about it. But due to determination, he went on building his business – driven by not wanting to work for others than himself.
Mr Canh said he would usually get 4kg of black soldier eggs per month with a VND price range between 15-20 million per kilo – approximately earning him about 80 million a month. Initially, Mr Canh said his farm was simply built tinder a canopy of rubber trees and has successfully grown into producing several kilograms of eggs. A kilogram can already produce 3-4 tons of pupae which provides a farm with nutritious food sources for poultry animals, cattle and even seafood.
The black soldiers are fed with organic waste such as fruits and vegetables – soybean residues, grape seed and some left over rice. They grow about 12-20 mm long and have a lifespan of about 40 days from eggs, larvae, puppae to full grown adult black soldiers fly wherein it only lives a week and dies. And the cycle continues as the adult female flies carry 500-800 eggs.
With a proper study of the process and growth of the flies, Mr. Canh is confident that his flying business will be more successful in the coming years ahead.