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


Still malnutrition and food insecurity remain two crucial challenges in the countries of Madagascar and Myanmar. Especially marginalized groups like rural women and children are vulnerable due to their exclusion from work opportunities and lack of inclusion in extension services. But both countries have, given their rich biodiversity potential to fight food insecurity and gender inequalities, which are yet unexplored in these two countries.

One major potential is entomophagy or, in other words, the human consumption of insects for nutritional purposes. Entomophagy offers crucial advantages over conventional food sources.
Edible insects

  • provide a high amount of nutrients like protein or amino acids,
  • a significantly better feed conversion,
  • and substantially lower CO2 emissions in comparison to livestock.

Based upon experiences with commercial exploitation of entomophagy in Myanmar and Thailand, insects also proved to have a high economic value, if processed and sold. The innovative 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,
  • thereby increasing the nutritional security of households, especially in matters of seasonal insecurity,
  • improving the economic situation of rural women and close gender gaps,
  • and facilitating capacity building and knowledge exchange for development agents and consumers, in particular by using the potential of a South-South-Cooperation between Madagascar and Myanmar.

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

  • A mainly qualitatively, gender-disaggregated analysis of the collection/mini farming and (commercial) processing practices of smallholders
  • In-depth analysis of the food and consumption behaviour, sociocultural role of insects, gender roles and relations
  • Gender-disaggregated 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 different existing processing techniques and testing of newly developed/transferred 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 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 – 30.06.2021


at ZEF


Sarah Nischalke

Dr. Sarah Nischalke