Construction of an artificial diet room has started at the FABI Biocontrol Centre at Innovation Africa @UP. This construction has been made possible by sectioning off and expanding an existing laboratory in the insect quarantine area. Construction started on 5 May by building a cage around the existing laboratory door. This was to maintain quarantine conditions while the outer laboratory walls were demolished. Now, two months later, the new walls are up, as well as a new roof. The new diet room is anticipated to be finished by 15 August.

An artificial diet for an insect is the partial or complete replacement of an insect’s food with a substitute. The elimination or reduction of the use of either plants or other insects as food enables mass rearing of a desired insect. To develop and make a successful diet requires specific equipment, and as these diets are susceptible to contamination, a sterile environment is required.