Bugs can help tackle food insecurity
In recent times, the use of insects as food and feed has probably become one of the most exciting topics in entomology. While it is reported that over 2,000 species are known to be edible globally, consumption of edible insects in Kenya is gradually being embraced.
In their recent publication on “Contribution to the knowledge of entomophagy in Africa”, Dr. Sunday Ekesi and Saliou Niassy from icipe and University of Pretoria respectively cited that the use of insects as food is being advocated for due to their high nutrient composition, high feed conversion efficiencies, organic wastes conversion, the lower requirements for land and water, lower emissions of greenhouse gases and the fact that they have a significant role to play in today’s debate surrounding food and nutritional security.
As tackling food security in Kenya and many other countries in the world continues to be a major point of focus, research emerging from various public and private sector entities has clearly demonstrated that insect-based protein can replace fishmeal and soymeal in fish and poultry feed. Since curbing food security requires an integrated approach as there is no single solution to the challenge, the use of insects as food and feed can not only significantly contribute to reducing hunger but also stimulating enterprise development and contribute to job creation especially for youth and women.
International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), a leading insect research institution on the African continent had developed a comprehensive strategy covering all aspects of the use of insects as food and feed including aspects of inventory, mass production, nutritional profiling, storage, and safety to legislation.
International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology