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Copenhagen's insect researchers at Thai cricket farms

Experts and practitioners flocked to Thailand to investigate the booming edible insect industry. A Copenhagen group was a part of it.

For years, Thailand has been heralded as having one of the world’s most developed edible insects sectors. Researchers representing 12 different nationalities and 5 continents met in Thailand at the end of February to learn about the Thai approach.

The group visited the royal agricultural demonstration projects, as well as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Regional Office of Asia and the Pacific. The group then flew to Khon Kaen in the northeast of Thailand, which has been the hot spot of the cricket farming industry.

The proceeding days were filled with visits to cricket farms, a silk worm farm, markets, and an entrepreneur buying and selling crickets by the tonne. Alongside these field visits were lectures from the Khon Kaen University on entrepreneurship and edible insect research.

Supporting research in Kenya

The participants came from a wide range of backgrounds including entomology, gastronomy, food and beverage, agricultural extension, human nutrition, agricultural economics, forestry and fisheries. Both public and private institutions were represented.

GREEiNSECT, the University of Copenhagen’s insects for green economy project, has partners in Kenya. The study trip was especially useful in transferring knowledge about insect farming, as well as product development, to them.

”We’ve got a lot of work to do once we get home. This trip has been very important for us!” said Professor Monica Ayeiko of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology, Kenya.

Traditionally from the wild

While insects have been part of the diets of several regions in Kenya, they have been traditionally harvested from the wild. Small to medium-scale farming technologies are in development at this time, as a part of the Kenyan driven research under the GREEiNSECT project.

Read also Afton Halloran’s Lab and Library feature, Down on the (cricket) farm.

Follow the photo story below. Photos by Afton Halloran.

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