Local knowledge and practices on use and management of edible insects in Lake Victoria basin, East Africa uri icon

abstract

  • Edible insects (EIs) provide an important food source in Africa, but their potential to improve livelihoods and environmental conservation is yet to be fully exploited. This study contributes towards enhancing the use of EIs in the Lake Victoria basin (LVB), with particular attention to local perspectives of the catalogue, ecology, management, collection, processing and consumption. The study was conducted along the LVB in Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda between 2012 and 2013 using a household survey and focus group discussions. Results revealed that up to 20 insect species were eaten in Uganda, 13 in Burundi, and six in Rwanda. In Uganda, the most consumed insects were a katydid grasshopper (Ruspolia differens), palm weevil (Rhynchophorus phoenicis) larvae and termites (Macrotermes), while in Rwanda and Burundi, Macrotermes species were the most consumed. The most common source of EIs in households was their own collection from the wild, although a number of insects were also bought from markets. Local communities reported various ways of collecting, processing and storing insects. Overall, most of these activities require technological interventions. Despite the high consumption of EIs, no deliberate efforts were reported on conservation and rearing of any of the insects consumed in the three countries. This raises serious questions pertaining to the sustainable consumption of EIs, especially in the face of climate change in this region
  • Edible insects (EIs) provide an important food source in Africa, but their potential to improve livelihoods and environmental conservation is yet to be fully exploited. This study contributes towards enhancing the use of EIs in the Lake Victoria basin (LVB), with particular attention to local perspectives of the catalogue, ecology, management, collection, processing and consumption. The study was conducted along the LVB in Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda between 2012 and 2013 using a household survey and focus group discussions. Results revealed that up to 20 insect species were eaten in Uganda, 13 in Burundi, and six in Rwanda. In Uganda, the most consumed insects were a katydid grasshopper (Ruspolia differens), palm weevil (Rhynchophorus phoenicis) larvae and termites (Macrotermes), while in Rwanda and Burundi, Macrotermes species were the most consumed. The most common source of EIs in households was their own collection from the wild, although a number of insects were also bought from markets. Local communities reported various ways of collecting, processing and storing insects. Overall, most of these activities require technological interventions. Despite the high consumption of EIs, no deliberate efforts were reported on conservation and rearing of any of the insects consumed in the three countries. This raises serious questions pertaining to the sustainable consumption of EIs, especially in the face of climate change in this region.

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017
  • 2017