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AFRICA - Insect feed among joint Australian and Canadian research projects to address food insecurity

Research in Kenya and Uganda to test the feasibility of raising poultry and fish on feed made from insects rather than soybeans and cereals, is one of five projects announced by Canada\'s International Development Research Centre and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research to address food security in Eastern and Southern Africa. The switch will help to reduce costs for small-scale producers and redirect the food crops currently used as feed toward human consumption.

December 18, 2014

Research in Kenya and Uganda to test the feasibility of raising poultry and fish on feed made from insects rather than soybeans and cereals, is one of five projects announced by Canada\'s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) to address food security in Eastern and Southern Africa. The switch will help to reduce costs for small-scale producers and redirect the food crops currently used as feed toward human consumption.

Other aquaculture related projects include the evaluatation of post-harvest fish processing practices in Zambia and Malawi, to improve their effectiveness, reduce losses, and promote greater equity among the men and women who work in the fish production chain. In Malawi, fishing is a crucial source of employment and nutrition, yet 40% of fish are lost during post-harvest processing. The research team will test and adapt solar fish-drying tents to reduce losses and develop new business models for fishers.

In Zimbabwe, researchers will partner with government officials and the private sector to address the dangers of aflatoxins. Tests on storage technologies and community education will help reduce contamination of maize and exposure of people, especially children whose early development can suffer if exposed.

The projects are funded through Cultivate Africa\'s Future (CultiAF), a four-year, $15-million partnership between the two agencies. CultiAF supports innovative research on post-harvest systems, nutrition, and sustainable water use. It will also identify ways to extend the reach of promising research results and support national and regional food security efforts on the continent.

The five projects will run for 30 months. This high-quality research will promote the adoption of solutions to tackle persistent problems of food insecurity.

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