PhD project

Cricket farming for Food and Feed: Assessment of Cricket species Composition, Genetic Diversity and Development of Rearing Procedures for some Key species in Kenya

Henlay Juma Otieno Magara Mr. Henlay Juma Otieno Magara (Kenya)
MSc. Agricultural Entomology

Henlay graduated from Egerton University in Kenya with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education and Extension and a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Entomology from Kenyatta University, Kenya in 2013. His research project was the “Effect of Herbivore-induced Plant Volatiles of Brachiaria brizantha on Neighbouring Maize for Chilo partellus Management in Suba District, Homa-Bay County, Kenya”. His interests are in agricultural insects, food policy, sustainable diets, resource poor households and sustainable food systems.

Food insecurity and malnutrition is a major problem in Africa. Insects can play a significant role in food security and as a source of protein. In Kenya a diversity of cricket species are consumed as food. However, the actual species composition and identity is unknown. There are also prospects of using edible crickets as feed for livestock and fish but rearing procedures are unknown. Furthermore, there is limited knowledge on nutritional value and rearing technologies for the potential species of crickets. Thus, there is a need to document the species composition and identity of the different cricket species that occur in Africa, develop appropriate rearing procedures for them and establish their nutritional composition as affected by feeding substrate.

The research will involve sampling of different cricket species from various sites in Kenya for the species composition and identity documentation. In this case morphological traits and molecular analysis will be employed. More so there will be development of the most appropriate rearing procedures by assessing various locally available and cheap substrates, temperature and cages or rearing systems on life quality parameters of the different cricket species. Then there will be proximate analysis and fatty acids profiling by GC-MS for determination of nutrient values of the key cricket species reared on selected substrates. Lastly there will be mass rearing of the best candidate cricket species for food and feed.


Dr Sunday Ekesi, Dr Saliou Niassy, Prof. Monica Ayieko