Crickets. Image: Courtesy

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University is recruiting farmers to rear crickets in a bid to counter the declining maize production in the country.

Interested farmers will be trained on the process of rearing crickets from the start until they mature and afterwards the university will buy the insects from farmers at Ksh5,000 per kilogram, according to reports by Farm Biz Africa, a local agriculture magazine.

Maize, the Kenya’s staple food, is recording a decline in production due to the fall of army worms and the lethal necrosis disease.

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“Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University is recruiting farmers in an educational program that involves teaching, research, product development and commercialization related to crickets as food and feeds across Kenya and Africa at large,” says John Odero, an agronomist at the university.

According to the magazine, the cost to establish a basic cricket-rearing system is about Ksh3000 inclusive of the initial cost of breeding the colony. To start such a colony at least 200 crickets are required.

“Edible insects such as crickets are resilient to climatic changes and emit considerably less amounts of green gases and they are also available in all seasons,” adds Odero.

Crickets mature after three months and a 40ft by 20ft piece of land can accommodate 100 crickets which can earn Ksh70,000 in three months meaning farmers can earn up to Sh280,000 per year.

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