Thursday 28 August 2014

Day 3- Feed producer and maggot farm.

Black Soldier Fly adults (credits: Nicole Pelusio).

In the early morning we got tro-tros for reaching the fish-feed factory and meet the boss. After a really nice talk with him, Emilie planned the production of experimental diets with maggot meal with feed producer and his colleagues.
Before coming back to the maggot farm, in Ashaiman we had a delicious and nice lunch with Jacob, an NGO deputy Country director.

Ghanian researchers from Animal Research Institute working with staff (credits: Nicole Pelusio).

Then we arrived to the maggot farm where we spent the afternoon enjoying the kind staff within the pleasant company of the four Ghanaian researchers before coming back to Kpong.

Black Soldier Fly adults cage from external view (credits: Nicole Pelusio).

Inside a brood-stock BSF cage(from bottom to top):ovodeposition site with banana leaves,glasses of water, plant for rest (credits: Nicole Pelusio).

banana leaf with a BSF deposed eggs and an adult (credits: Nicole Pelusio).

Inside HF cage: trais with powsugar and milk, ovodeposition site covered by buckets (with manure inside) (credits: Nicole Pelusio).
Staff collecting deposed eggs in manure from Housefly (credits: Nicole Pelusio).

Day 2- The rain and the Volta Lake.

Jetty beside the Volta dam (credits: Nicole Pelusio).

In the morning we got a tro-tro (wagons shared by passengers that once they were paid with the old coin “tro”, and a trip cost 2 tros: from that the name “tro-tro”), but a harsh rain caught us few minutes before the arrive to the tro-tro station in Akosombu where we waited it to stop for a couple of hours. Finally we took a cab to the Dodi Princess pontoon waiting other two hours on the river shore because of the rain.

Dodi princess pontoon after rain (credits: Nicole Pelusio).

Nicolas came to pick us up by boat for quickly visiting the commercial tilapia farm nursery site. The floating cages were really impressive, as well as the other parts of the whole fish-farm. In the afternoon we met the supervisors of fish-farm for a breathing with Nicolas about the growth trial on tilapia fingerlings. In the cloudy evening we came back to Kpong for getting prepared for the following day.

Day 1 – Welcome to Accra and visit of maggot farm in Ashaiman.

 (credits: Nicole Pelusio).

Once arrived at the crowded Accra airport, University of Stirling phD student Emilie Devic and  commercial tilapia farm manager Nicolas welcomed me and picked me up in an hotel nearby for spending my first night in the capital.

Prepupae site in maggot farm (credits: Nicole Pelusio).
The following day I and Emilie got a cab for reaching the town of Ashaiman: a peripheral and chaotic place crossed by lots of sounds. Whilst reaching the agricultural path to the maggot farm we were swallowed by red dust of the streets, exploding colors and smells spreading from every corner.

The maggot farm was stuck in the middle of rice and onions fields, where farmers harvesting there grant you as stranger “Obrowny” (“people made of corn”, because the corn color in Africa is white instead of yellow).

 The experimental farm is made up of 3 greenhouses: the first one hosted the growing trays with larvae and pre-pupae inside, the second one was used as refuge for Black Soldier Fly brood-stocks cages during night and rain, the last one was the Housefly (Musca domestica) brood-stocks accommodation cages.
Black Soldier Fly brood-stocks cages (credits: Nicole Pelusio).

Once we got there Emilie made a breathing training to four Ghanaian researchers, explaining what was daily done in the farm and the fascinating biology of Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens).
In the late afternoon we went to the village of Kpong, a pretty and quite village on the way of the fish-farm where we spent the night after a delicious Ghanaian dinner.