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News 3754 views 1 commentlast update:14 Jan 2016

Congolese to become insect farmers

A new project by FAO is looking at ways to train 1,000 people in Kinshasa, Congo to become insect farmers. The insects will be used for human food and poultry diets.

FAO research shows that promoting the consumption of edible insects is a sustainable way to combat chronic malnutrition as well as create new income generating opportunities in the Congo capital. Up to 75% of the population in the Democratic Republic of Congo suffers from food insecurity. Malnutrition affects up to 5 million children and is the second cause of death after malaria. Also for local, small scale poultry producers the insects can be a valuable feed ingredient.

Insects are already eaten in Congo, but people are willing to eat more when there is more available. The project therefore focuses on strengthening the traditional role of insects in local diets while enhancing the sustainability, safety and efficiency of insect farming, processing and consumption. A wide range of partners and beneficiaries will be involved: 1000 people will be trained in insect rearing and processing techniques to become insect farmers and further train others after project termination.

Also opportunities lie to use these insects for animals. The insect farmers that will be trained in this FAO project will therefore be able to sell the insects also to local poultry farmers. Compared to the EU for example, there are no strict rules to use insects for production animals.

This two year project is the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's immediate response under the 'Plan National d'Investissement Agricole (PNIA)' to stimulate further growth in the agriculture sector during the period 2013 – 2020.

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