According to the United Nations, almost two billion people consume insects, in both cooked and raw forms. There are almost 1,900 species of bugs which can be eaten, and many are viable sources of protein that could supplement the diets of undernourished peoples. A young college student of Congolese heritage named Michael Kazadi has developed a program to raise the Brachytrupes membranaceus species of crickets as a food source. This pilot project would provide Congolese residents with a nourishing food product that could also provide much needed revenue to impoverished communities. Once successful, this agribusiness will be sold to local residents so that may reap the benefits of this sustainable enterprise.
The Brachytrupes membranaceus is found naturally in Congo and other African countries, where they are consumed as a delicacy. These crickets are currently priced at between $25 and $50 per kilogram, and are eaten by 70 percent of the nation’s 70 million inhabitants. Through this project, the crickets would no longer be gathered, but would instead be cultivated. This type of farming is much more efficient than other types of husbandry. Only 2 kilograms of feed and 8 liters of water could produce one kilogram of crickets, compared to 10 kg of feed and 8,000 liters of water for a similar amount of cattle protein.
In accordance with the recently passed UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this project will allow Congolese communities to support themselves through sustainable farming practices. As mandated, this program is an agricultural research project that will help maintain the local ecosystem while also increasing food production capacity.
As a new type of agribusiness, this has enormous potential for local residents. Not only would it help preserve this important insect species, but also other plants which are destroyed in the traditional gathering process. It would also help create new types of farming of plants used to sustain cricket crops.
Michael is currently working with the University of Georgia’s Department of Entomology and the Institut Superieur Agroveterinaire de Kimwenza in design and implementation of this two year long program. He has also secured the assistance of a prominent international law firm in Atlanta to manage the project. He intends to invite American and African students to maintain the project.
The entire cost of the project is estimated to be $38,000 which will be used for equipment, researchers, travel costs, and administrative fees. To raise these funds, Michael and his team has sponsored a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo. In return for supporting this historic project, backers can receive valuable perks like Thank You letters, T-shirts, Hopper Crunch Granola, bronze Cricket, or Framed Royal Tapestry.
To learn more about this project or to make a financial contribution, please visit http://bit.ly/1VgyCHS
Distributed by GetMeCrowdfunded
Company Name: Farming the Congolese Cricket
Contact Person: Michael Kazadi
Country: United States