Why insects might be the ideal feed for chickens and fish

| April 23, 2018

Download this story

This week’s Farmer story from Senegal highlights the need for fish farmers to have adequate supplies of nutritious feed. This week’s Script of the week is a two-part series of interviews that focuses on an emerging type of fish feed that may make life easier for fish farmers.

The major ingredients in animal and fish feed, including soya beans, fish oil, and seed cakes, are becoming expensive because of lack of land for production, while the availability of fish as an ingredient in fishmeal is decreasing because of overfishing.

In contrast, insects are a readily available and cost-effective protein substitute in feed. Research on sustainable methods of multiplying insect species has identified a number of easy-to-adapt and cost-effective methods for raising and harvesting insects, as well as post-harvest techniques to provide feed for small-scale poultry and fish farmers in East Africa.

Insects have more protein than the plants commonly used to make feed. Insect protein is also nutritionally superior to protein obtained from common feed plants.

This script focuses on the experiences of Ugandan farmers who are involved in raising insects for feed. The interviews show the benefits of using insects for feed and some of the challenges farmers face in capturing and raising insects for animal feed.