ProciNut (Production and Processing of Edible Insects for Improved Nutrition) - Innovative Approaches to process Local Food in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia


Entomophagy, Nutrition, Food Security, Gender Inequality, Small-Scale Farming, Value Chain, Knowledge Transfer, Capacity Building


Madagascar, Myanmar, Thailand


Malnutrition and food insecurity remain two crucial challenges in Madagascar and Myanmar. Especially marginalized groups such as rural women are vulnerable due to their exclusion from work opportunities and extension services. But both countries have, given their rich biodiversity and economic opportunities, unexplored potentials to fight food insecurity and gender inequalities.

One major potential is entomophagy, the human consumption of insects as food. Entomophagy offers crucial advantages over conventional food sources. Edible insects provide

  • a high amount of nutrients such as protein, 
  • a significantly better feed conversion,
  • and substantially lower CO2 emissions, water and land use in comparison to livestock.

Based upon experiences with commercial farming in Thailand, insects also proved to have a high economic value, if processed and sold.

The ProciNut project aims to use these nutritional and economic potentials of edible insects by

  • establishing and improving small-scale farming and the production of safe, nutritious end products with increased shelf life using different processing techniques,
  • thereby reducing the (often seasonal) nutritional insecurity of households,
  • improving the economic situation of rural women and close gender gaps,
  • and facilitating capacity building and knowledge exchange for development agents and farmers, in particular by promoting South-South-Cooperation between Madagascar, Myanmar and Thailand.

The ProciNut project uses a transdisciplinary and participatory approach to cover and respect all cultural, social, economic and material aspects of producing, processing and using edible insects. To achieve this goal a variety of different methods are used, including:

  • A mainly qualitative, gender-disaggregated analysis of insect collection, (commercial) production and processing, consumption and marketing by smallholders
  • In-depth analysis of the food and consumption behaviour, sociocultural role of insects, gender roles and relations
  • Value chain and market analysis
  • On-farm or community trials on insect rearing established in communities within the two target countries using gender-sensitive participatory action research (PAR)
  • Adaption of already existing and testing of newly developed processing, preservation and storage techniques
  • Laboratory analysis of insect material before and after processing for key amino acids, minerals and microbiological or chemical contamination
  • Policy analysis to identify constraints to streamlining of edible insect sector in the target countries and policy dialogue at local and regional level and round-table forums including legislative and food safety regulatory bodies
  • Promotion of and training in safe insect production and processing, nutritional value of insects and balanced diets
Main Cooperation Partners

Partners in Germany:

Partners in Asia:

Partners in Africa:

Main Funding Partners

German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (

Duration of the Project

01.08.2018 – 31.12.2022


at ZEF

  • Dr. Simone Kathrin Kriesemer (Project lead and management)
  • Dr. Jochen Dürr (Value chain analysis)
  • Dr. Chama Inson (associated entomologist)
  • Ms. Myint Thu Thu Aung (junior researcher)
  • Ann-Kathrin Schmitz (student assistant)


Dr. Simone Kathrin Kriesemer


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