Results Flying Food study in Burundi
The Flying Food initiative promotes crickets as human food. After setting up a cricket value chain in Kenya and Uganda, other East African countries began to show interest. A feasibility study was recently performed in Burundi. The main conclusion is that Flying Food is technically and economically feasible. A market for cricket products exists and the business will improve food security and income generation for the most vulnerable groups.
The results are positive
The Flying Food concept was tested in Kenya and Uganda over the past five years and is reproducible in other countries and regions.
Three partners of Flying Food performed a feasibility study in Burundi and checked both the willingness of consumers to eat crickets and the interest of potential farmers, producers and processors in entering this new value chain. The results of this brief market study were positive:
- Setting up Flying Food in Burundi will not be easy but is feasible.
- There is certainly a drive and willingness among all of the required local actors.
- More than 50% of the population in Burundi is chronically food-insecure and daily rations have low nutritional value (mainly carbohydrates). A clear need exists for animal protein and food sources containing micro-nutrients, which must also be affordable for people with the lowest incomes.
- All 88 respondents had eaten insects before, mainly termites and grasshoppers. Crickets were largely unknown to them. Most consumers rated the fried crickets as tasty and nutritious.
- A potential market exists for cricket products with acceptable prices;
- A need exists for livelihood programmes and income generation activities;
- Flying Food fits in with Burundian governmental programmes on food security and rural private sector development;
- Most of the equipment required for cricket production is available or can be imported at reasonable costs;
- The business environment in Burundi can be considered challenging, but the entrepreneurs we talked to know how to run a Burundian medium-sized business under difficult circumstances. They are looking for new opportunities and are willing to take risks and invest some of their own resources in innovation.
In this feasibility study, a checklist was used to gather information about the local context. Staff from Wageningen Food & Biobased Research (WFBR) and Fair & Sustainable Consultancy did an additional field study in Burundi. Freeze-dried house crickets were used for consumer testing, having been produced in the Netherlands by Kreca EntoFood B.V. In total, 88 respondents were interviewed: 26 in Bujumbura and 62 in Makamba. Most respondents were between 18 and 45 years of age, with female respondents making up 41%.
Cricket production is largely influenced by temperature and feed. Temperature has the biggest effect on the growth speed of crickets. The ideal temperature for cricket growth lies around 30°C. Three Burundian provinces experience temperatures which should make cricket production possible. Lower temperatures will result in slower growth, which will then negatively affect the business case. Innovation is needed in order to develop low-cost, easy-to-use climate control technology.
- A stable market pull is essential when it comes to obtaining an economically-sustainable cricket value chain. We have to identify a retailer or cricket processor who is willing to launch cricket-derived food products on the market.
- A Cricket Business Centre needs to be established, which will act as the future national orchestrator and booster of cricket value chain development. This will be the centre of the train-the-trainer approach and must be financially self-sustainable.
- A low-cost and easy-to-use climate control technology has to be developed to keep the crickets in the production farms at a constant temperature of 30°C.
- A combination of investment capital for entrepreneurs and grants for the coordination of this Flying Food initiative is required in order to start up.
Subscribe to our Innovation for Development newsletter
Mathilde MiedemaFunctie:Programma directeur
Looking for an expert?View all experts
Discover hybrid working 2.0: virtual meetings in the metaverse
Positive experiences of remote working are leading us to insights for new innovations. Our latest innovation: work meetings in the metaverse.
Group Care for pregnant women: A game changer for maternal and child care
Approximately 800 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. Group care breaks the vicious circle of poor quality and inadequate utilization of services by offering care that addresses health holistically. It also focuses on health promotion and information and meets the needs of the end users. TNO and partners co-create strategies, learn implementation lessons and build ecosystems for learning and adaptation to bring group care to scale in seven countries.
Peter Werkhoven steps down as member of the Executive Board
Prof. Peter Werkhoven will step down as member of the Executive Board on 1 January 2023. He is making this move of his own volition and for personal reasons. Peter will stay on as Scientific Advisor to the Board for a few days per week. In addition, Peter has worked and will continue to work as a professor at Utrecht University one day a week.
TNO innovations addressing mental health of children
BoB, TNO’s methodology for teaching children resilience and stress management in South Sudan has proven successful and effective, and is ready for upscaling.
TNO helps accelerate drug development through insight
To find the most effective interventions for complex metabolic diseases, we must first understand the dynamics of disease onset and progression. Only then can key targets and optimal therapeutic windows for more effective treatment be defined. We spoke with Anita van den Hoek, Research Scientist for TNO Metabolic Health, about how TNO helps pharmaceutical companies accelerate drug development through better understanding of disease pathways.