Our work

Insects as nutritious, affordable and tasty food

Crickets are highly nutritious and tasty. And easy to rear. In cooperation with our partners we are launching cricket rearing in Kenya and Uganda, including processing and market-based value chain development.

Base of the Pyramid (BoP) consumers often lack proper food with enough proteins, vitamins and minerals. Insects are highly nutritious and widely eaten, but only seasonally when they can be captured in the wild. Together with several partners we therefore want to establish cricket production in Kenya and Uganda. Farmers will be trained to set up small-scale cricket rearing stations and a whole value chain will be developed from rearing, processing and trade to consumption, both as crickets and cricket derived food products.

Advantages of crickets

Crickets can be eaten wholly (after cooking or frying) or processed as an ingredient in local food products. They are highly nutritious, containing more protein and less fat and higher food conversion efficiency . Furthermore, they reproduce much faster than cattle, are easy to breed and occupy far less space. In May 2013 the project Flying Food started in which small scale insect rearing stations are set up at farms. The number will gradually increase to hundreds of rearing stations. When the crickets production exceeds consumption of farmers themselves, two commercial centres of farmer collectives will be set up . They process crickets to shelf stable products for the regular food chain thus reaching finally thousands of consumers. Cricket knowledge centres in Kenya and Uganda will guarantee knowledge transfer and stimulate further dissemination of cricket production for nutritious food for BoP consumers and commercial processing centres, inside and outside Kenya and Uganda.

The project Flying Food

Partners in the Flying Food project are: TNO (coordinator), VENIK, Kreca, NGN Pro-Active, Nostimos B.V., M. Ruig en Zonen B.V., Jagran B.V., ICCO, BoPInc and HAS University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, JOOUST University, ADS, MIXA Foods and Beverages and KBL in Kenya and ICCO ROCEA and BADDA in Uganda. The project runs from 2013 till 2017 and is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the framework of the FDOV Public Private Partnership program. The impact of Flying Food will be:

  • Availability of nutritious food for thousands of BoP people in Kenya and Uganda
  • Alleviation of hunger and improvement in health
  • Acceleration of local entrepreneurship
  • Employment and income generation for hundreds of farmers and co-workers of minimal 2 processing centres
  • Less environmental load compared to other protein/meat production, less waste, energy, greenhouse gas and space

See for more information: www.flyingfoodproject.com

Erwin Beckers MSc

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Erwin Beckers MSc

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