Arné Verhoef, a biologist and fly farmer, spent his childhood in Pretoria visiting the local zoo and hiding behind books reading about insects. He jokes that he chose entomology because he enjoys bugging people.
In this edition of Farmer’s Inside Track, he talks about his work as the chief technology officer at Nambu, an insect protein company, as well as his agricultural career.
“I grew up in Pretoria North. I come from a multicultural house. We weren’t well-off but there was love and support in the house. I was allowed to explore my curiosity, which taught me how to fight, and what I want,” he says.
To Verhoef it was the best childhood as his dreams were nurtured from a young age.
Love for plants and insects
Verhoef has a particular fondness for plants and insects. He explains that insects are a great way to understand the natural world.
“They are very useful at discovering patterns and processes of the natural world. They’ve evolved together for millions of years, but that’s not all … insects address how we impact the world,” he says.
After leaving university, he worked on various projects, and one of those projects on cannabis led him to the Eastern Cape. He wanted to pursue something out of the cannabis industry at the time and met the co-founder of Nambu, and the rest is history.
“I met the co-founder of the Nambu Group. He was looking at setting up facilities in East London. In June last year, we started the East London facilities,” he says.
In this episode, Verhoef also discusses:
- Career highlights; and
- Food waste and his research.
Catching up with a #SoilSista
This week we also feature #Soilsista Zilungile Ndlovu, one of the inspiring women selected for the Corteva Women Agripreneur 2022, a year-long blended development programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) Entrepreneurship Development Academy (EDA).
Want to know more? Listen to the full episode of Farmer’s Inside Track.
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