What the duck(weed)?!?

Featured Entry DryGro, United Kingdom/Kenya

DryGro is on a mission to provide an industrial-scale, sustainable alternative to soy production.

Soybean meal has been the gold standard animal feed protein ingredient for decades. To keep up with the demand, soybean cultivation is expanding into new territory. This, however, is leading to deforestation and the destruction of ecosystems. While the demand for meat continues to rise, the question remains: how will we feed all these animals? DryGro has come up with a solution. Their product — known as the water lentil — is an animal feed product derived from a rapidly growing, high yielding aquatic plant. This plant has a high protein content and can double in volume in just two days. Water lentils are nothing new, however. Farmers in Asia and Latin America have traditionally fed them to poultry. Recent research shows that water lentils can be a source of protein ingredient for pigs, chickens, and many species of fish. DryGro is developing enclosed growing systems specifically designed to produce water lentils at an industrial scale. These large growth units are roughly the size of half a football pitch. A specialized environment management system allows the company to maintain optimal growing conditions, regardless of the weather conditions outside. Water in the system is conserved, reducing water use. According to DryGro, the industrial scale of their system will be able to produce 8x more protein per hectare than soybean cultivation.