Documentary Flying Food: insects to feed the world

10 Jul 2019

Florence runs an orphanage in Kenya, and rears crickets to feed her children.  She is very enthusiastic because crickets are easy to rear, affordable and the proteins and minerals of the crickets improve the health of her fragile children. The Flying Food consortium guides her and many other farmers in the insect business. Watch our work in this 30 minutes Dutch documentary.

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Sound business model for cricket value chain

Margot Calis, one of the first insect breeders in the world, is visiting Florence frequently to support her impactful business.  Margot’s company is partner in the Flying Food consortium who initiates and facilitates the value chain of crickets in Kenya and Uganda. This group creates access to affordable proteins and a source of livelihood by setting up a completely new, inclusive value chain of crickets for human consumption. Over the last 4 years, the Flying Food project successfully established rearing, processing and retailing of crickets in Kenya and Uganda through an international public private partnership led by the Dutch Innovation Institute TNO. Beginning of 2018, 120 smallholder farmers, including 80+ women, actively rear crickets, with 400 additional farmers preparing to start. Two middle-scale companies have been established with the combined potential to deliver 50 tons of crickets per annum. Three processing companies dry, grind and package the crickets and deliver them to a total of 10 market outlets as snacks or flour. Demand outpaces supply. At full capacity, the existing supply chain could deliver 5.000.000 servings per annum. The value chain is built on a sustainable business model.

Watch the work of Florence and Margot in this 30 minutes documentary, broadcasted by the Dutch television in February and May 2019.

Crickets to feed the world

Crickets are tasty, affordable, very nutritious and easy to rear. And sustainable! Find in the picture  some facts & figures on the advantages of crickets versus livestock:

Comparisons with other Livestock Animals (Click on the picture for a larger image)

Cricket disease

Unfortunately, this value chain was disastrously affected by a bacterial infection and almost the full production at all farmers collapsed. You can experience that as well in the above mentioned documentary.  Also our project funding ended and the Flying Food consortium experienced that the value chain was not yet sustainable. We developed a remedy to clean up the production and ban the bacterial infection. We decided it’s worth to proceed our efforts and restart the production of crickets, because the infrastructure is developed and with relatively little effort we can restore the value chain. To make the cricket value chain fully self-supporting with potential to scale up we will organise the egg production in a separate hatchery farm in order to secure the required hygienic conditions and we will establish a Cricket Business Center; a private entity that will boost the cricket value chain.


Innovation for development

TNO innovates in developing and emerging countries. With technical know-how we develop and launch new products and services with a sustainable business model in the field of health, food, construction... Read more

Drs. Mathilde Miedema

  • Developing countries
  • Development Cooperation
  • Africa
  • Bangladesh
  • Inclusive Business

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