HEALTHYNSECT Insect farming for health and livelihood

Project summary

Insects are recognized as some of the most promising alternative food sources that can shape future sustainable food systems by providing high-quality animal protein and nutrients with lower environmental impacts than conventional livestock. Production systems for insect species identified as suited for farming (namely crickets, grasshoppers and palm weevil larvae)
are currently under development in Africa, including in Kenya, Uganda and Ghana; however, knowledge about the impacts pathways from incentivizing and scaling up insect farming and
consumption to achieving development outcomes remains poorly understood, creating a barrier for the inclusion of insect production in policies for sustainable development. The overall aim of HEALTHYNSECT is to generate new knowledge for accelerating rural insect farming and insect consumption in Africa for improved nutrition, health, and livelihoods. The specific objectives are 1) to develop an evidence-based framework describing impact pathways from incentivizing insect farming and consumption to development outcomes; 2) to
conduct a multi-site factorial intervention study to identify and quantify pathways from incentivizing (1) insect consumption or (2) insect production (main effects) and the combined effects; 3) to assess the impacts of the consumption of insect-based food supplements on diets and young children’s health and nutrition; 4) to assess the impacts of accelerating small-scale insect farming on agriculture practices and household livelihoods; and 5) to support research capacity building and regional research collaboration on edible insects in sustainable food systems. The project consortium gathers leading and pioneering expertise in edible insect research in Africa. New knowledge generated across three different insect farming systems and agro-economic settings will markedly add value by enhancing the ability to generalize findings to entire Sub-Saharan Africa.

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