African partners in Mali and Ghana from the EC-funded PROteINSECT project have released a film demonstrating the potential of insect-based animal feed as a cost-effective, additional and novel protein source.
The film’s release is particularly timely following World Food Day last week, where global attention was drawn to the persistent challenges of hunger, malnutrition and future food security for our planet.
Dr Marc Kenis, a PROteINSECT partner and entomologist at the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) appears in the film. He says, “These feeding trials are a key stage in our search for a more sustainable source of protein than those currently in use. Insect flour offers huge potential as an added, economically-viable, ‘home-grown’ protein source for farmers who have traditionally relied upon fish meal and soy flour.”
The ongoing search for additional, sustainable sources of protein is also on the agenda in Europe, where it is recognised that the protein deficit and our increased reliance on imported sources of protein need to be addressed. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently published its scientific opinion on the comparative risks of insects as a source of protein for food and feed.
Read also: Insects in feed: Consumers to voice opinion
EFSA recognises that in parts of the world outside the EU such as Africa, insect-based feed is an emerging agricultural practice, which could pave the way for the adoption of ‘novel feeds’ in European farming. An important consideration for African feed producers, however, will be potential restrictions placed on importing meat from animals reared on insect protein into Europe. The film also acknowledges that further safety testing is essential before such meat is widely available for human consumption.