Malawi Losing More on Cricket Farming

Historically, crickets have been part of Malawians’ diet. Historically, crickets have been part of Malawians’ diet. - Pic by Daniel Chisoni

A local NGO has tipped Malawi to consider investing in insects farming as one way of dealing with malnutrition which currently stands at 37 percent.

Nutri-Care Malawi monitoring and Evaluation Officer Mr. Paul Bwanali says given its high nutritional value, insects such as crickets are an easy source of essential nutrients for the poorest population.

“100g of cricket processed powder contains 63.1% of protein while 100g of chicken meat contains 21% protein. They are also rich in iron which is important for pregnant mothers,” Bwanali said.

Historically, crickets have been part of Malawians’ diet.

However, given that they are seasonal, Malawians often fail to fully exploit them to their nutritional betterment.

While cricket farming is gaining momentum in countries like Kenya, Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson Hamilton Chimala has conceded that insects farming is a key potential area to explore.

He said, “The ministry would obviously be eager to prioritize such conventional farming innovations but needs to be informed of more researches conducted in the local set up.”

In other countries crickets have even manifested a huge economic potential as they are processed into commercial hot-selling food products.

Cricket farming is very common in the United States and currently brewing up in Kenya and other countries which have lower levels of malnutrition as compared to Malawi.

According to the 2017 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey, 37% of under-fives experience stunted growth while 12% of newly born babies have low body weight; all owing to serious proteins and iron deficiencies.

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