The demand for crickets as source of proteins on the international market is rising and this offers a great business opportunity for Rwandans faced with challenges of land.
“With the growing demand for meat and declining availability of agricultural land and water resources, there is an urgent need to find alternative protein sources,” said Katinka de Balogh, Senior Animal Production and Health Officer at the FAO regional office for Asia and the Pacific.
“Crickets are nutritious and their farming is sustainable for the environment. It’s a win-win situation for the consumer and the planet,” said Sridhar Dharmapuri, Senior Food Safety and Nutrition Officer in the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with Thailand’s Khon Kaen University in 2020 published Guidance on sustainable cricket farming, a new comprehensive manual on rearing crickets.
The publication aimed at addressing knowledge gaps among cricket farmers and government agencies mandated for ensuring food safety and hygiene.
Cricket farming has developed rapidly, it has done so largely independently from government and institutional research support.
In addition to protein, crickets are high in many other nutrients, including fat, calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, copper, folate, biotin, pantothenic acid, and iron. One study found that the iron content of crickets was 180% higher than that of beef.
100 grams of cricket contains more calcium than the same amount of milk, more fiber than 100 grams of green beans.