Imagine someone telling you that caterpillars, beetles, bugs, and other edible insects could help address food insecurity, economic and environmental problems, Unbelievable! Unfortunately, our farmers have little to no information on the farming of these edible insects. They have zero experience in the art of collecting, harvesting, and processing methods of such delicacies. On top of that, only very few people consider insects like caterpillars as food, a snack, or an income source. Here at Permaculture Institute Paradise, we would like to change this narrative as we take pride in highlighting underutilized strategies which can be solutions to different problems.
Edible Insects can be considered a solution to malnutrition and food insecurity especially to low income households. Insects provide the cheapest natural sources of food and nutrients. Caterpillars for example, are a source of proteins, iron and fats and compared to meat, they are cheap and readily available in most regions. An article by Flora Dickie, Monami Miyamoto and Maltida) reported that Insect consumption has the potential to reduce hunger on a global scale as they are nutrient dense as well as calories
We cannot be blind to the environmental problems which come about due to livestock production. Talk of land degradation due to overgrazing, emission of greenhouse gases, water pollution and more. Environmentalists are now viewing insects favorably as a solution for all those environmental problems that come with meat production. Compared to livestock farming, insects emit less greenhouse gasses, take up less space, require less water and have a high feed conversion efficiency, meaning they have the ability to convert feed to protein more efficiently than livestock animals British Nutrition Foundation
Insect farming has also proved to be a reliable source of income in most of African countries like Zambia. Selling of simple processed insects can bring income to a household. All the farmer has to do is collect and do simple processing. Also if a farmer is willing can add value and sell at a higher price by good packaging and processing.
Insect farming also helps conserve the environment and maintains balance. This is made possible because for insect farming to be possible there is supposed to be a forest. By planting trees as part of your permaculture design, you will help maintain natural tree regeneration and biodiversity. The good thing is that, as a farmer ,you will also benefit from everything that the forest has to offer. For instance, food forests will help conserve the soil, control pests, pollination and more.
Farming insects is very easy and cheap. As we often put it nature is very generous, all it expects of us is to just do a small part and the rest of it, nature handles. As a farmer who wants to venture into insect farming, all you have to do is design and create a very conducive environment and let nature take its course, in this case planting trees and reserving farm space for a forest.
Our dream is to have our farmers explore different options when it comes to dealing with food insecurity, economic and environmental problems. Visit us today to learn more about insect farming and other interesting types of farming.