Is entomophagy relevant for food security in rural areas of Madagascar and which factors influence insect consumption?

April 22, 2021 | 13:30 h - 14:30 h

Abstract: Edible insects are a healthy, sustainable and environmentally friendly protein alternative. Thanks to its quantitative and qualitative protein composition, they can contribute to food security, especially in Africa where insects have been consumed for centuries. Most insects are still harvested in the wild and used for household consumption. So far, however, little attention has been paid to insect consumption behavior in developing countries and its real contribution to food security. This study investigated entomophagy in rural areas of Madagascar, a country severely affected by chronic malnutrition. The data was obtained in 2020 from a survey of 216 households. Descriptive statistics and multiple linear regressions were used to determine relative protein consumption, cost of insect protein compared to other protein sources, and factors that explain differences in the quantities of insects consumed. Results show that insects contribute significantly to animal protein consumption, and that they are a cheap protein source, as much esteemed as meat by the rural population. The amount of time dedicated to collect insects, a variable not considered in any other study reviewed, is the single most important factor explaining insect consumption. In light of these results, we explain why attitudinal and socio-economic factors do not play a role in predicting insect consumption in poor rural areas and how entomophagy can be promoted for better food security.

Speaker: Dr Jochen Dürr is a senior researcher at ZEF

You can watch the recorded lecture on ZEF's youtube channel here:


Jochen Dürr

Jochen Dürr