Demand for animal protein in developing countries is predicted to double by 2050 putting pressure on protein sources for food and animal feed, such as soya and fish. More sustainable protein sources are urgently needed. Entomophagy – the consumption of insects as food - is traditionally practiced in many cultures, also in Africa, and is mainly carried out through harvesting the insects from the wild. However, the potential of insects as a protein source is still untapped, and the answer to unleashing their potential lies in domestication and large-scale production. Such an industry is still in its infancy, but is a high prospective
new sector. Insects are highly efficient converters of food into body weight, are highly nutritious and are an environmentally friendly protein source. Insects can also live off waste streams that would otherwise not be consumed by humans. In Kenya, experimental domestication of termites and crickets has been initiated, while industrial production remains to be pioneered. GREEiNSECT will bring together a multidisciplinary consortium of public, private and international partners to research the potential of insects for food and´feed as an instrument in developing a pro-poor green economy in Kenya. The research will address small- to large-scale production practices; institutional framework for health risk
and disease management; product development and consumer preferences of edible insect products; potential greenhouse gas emission impacts from production; potential government incentives through economic growth, nutritional contribution and businessmodels for a novel industry. The outcomes of the project are knowledge and tools to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and employment related to insects as food and feed, along with supporting capacity building of Kenyan research institutions and public-private partnership. The knowledge generated by this consortium will be disseminated to national and international stakeholders.
Midterm report 2015
The research is organized around a total of 7 PhD studies (5 in Kenya). The PhD projects add to the 5 objectives of aspects of mass-rearing of insects in a circular and green economy. For the technological aspects, the outputs are advancement in production of cricket and black soldier fly. For the risk and safety aspects, insect diseases and food safety are investigated. Project PI contributed to a scientific risk profile of insects (EFSA). For public-private partnership, the project has catalyzed great interest among entrepreneurs in Kenya. A study tour to Thailand strengthened south-south exchange. Surveys on consumers and willingness-to-pay contribute to potential for a commercial sector. Ann intervention study in school children supported that insects can improve food security. Technical 8knowledge gaps exist in local feed sources. Two PhD studies investigate this. An international conference for stakeholders and experts was planned and held in March 2016.