Sustainable Use of Insects to Improve Livestock Production and Food Security in Smallholder Farms in West Africa (IFWA)
Project responsable Marc Kenis
Marion Fresia

Alexandre Aebi
Abstract In West Africa, smallholder poultry and fish farmers suffer from the increasing cost of feed. Many of them do not have access to feed protein sources, resulting in quantitative and qualitative feed shortages affecting production of meat, eggs and fish, and reducing family income. A solution to develop sustainable household poultry farming and aquaculture systems is the use of untapped local, easily available and cheap protein sources. Insects, which are a natural food source of poultry and fish, are one such source. Insects are rich in protein as well as other valuable nutrient, and can be mass produced locally and on-farm. Fly larvae have the advantage to many other insects of feeding on organic waste material. The most promising and commonly used species for feed are the house fly and the black soldier fly. Termites are another type of insects that can be used for animal feed. Although the use of fly larvae and termites for poultry and fish nutrition is promising, several issues have to be solved before the methods become widely adopted by smallholder farmers. In particular: on-farm fly larvae production and termite collection systems need to be optimised; the nutritional suitability of the insects for poultry and fish needs to be further assessed; the safety of insect rearing systems and insect-based feed needs to be evaluated for animal and human health; the capacity of fly larvae to recycle waste in smallholder farms and the value of residues from on-farm rearing systems need to be considered; the impacts on household nutrition, income and livelihoods needs to be assessed; the acceptability of eating animals fed with insects may have to be improved; the use of insects as animal feed needs to be promoted within the context of national policies.
Keywords Food security, Insects, Sustainable development, West Africa, Benin, Ghana, Burkina Faso, production d'insectes, production de larves de mouches, collecte des termites, production locale, développement durable, aliments à base d'insectes, sources de protéines locales, alimentation animale, sécurité alimentaire
Project homepage http://www.r4d.ch/modules/food-security/insects-as-feed
Type of project Applied research project
Research area Ethnologie, agrifood studies
Method of financing FNS, Programme R4D Food security
Status Ongoing
Start of project 1-1-2017
End of project 1-12-2020
Additional info Site Web du projet IFWA: http://www.insectsasfeed.org/
Contact Olivia Filippini