Cricket dance

September is definitely a very exciting month! I am ecstatic about it all. Day after day a story on crickets is coming up in the Kenyan media. The titles were quite fascinating too!  cricket-dance

Feeling like a movie producer, venturing into an unchartered territory and we are the trail blazer ! The crickets are dancing on print, video and audio media!

  1. Use crickets for better nutrition, urges varsity
  2. Kenyans Turn to Cricket for Food & Nutrition Security
  3. Scientists want Kenyans to consume more crickets for improved nutrition
  4. Eating crickets gives you more iron, protein elements

  5. Wanasayansi wapigia debe ulaji wa nyenje au chenene

  6. Gitoero kia nyenje

cricket-danceThe month is still young…

…am waiting to see what crops up next! Join the fun!



9 thoughts on “Cricket dance

  1. The cricket dance has caught the nation’s imagination after the JKUAT research team reignited the interest in a natural resource that is otherwise freely available around us even in the villages, yet animals and human beings continue to stare malnutrition in the face due to feed and food hunger. Its time we explored edible insects as a viable alternative nutritional intervention especially for vulnerable children under age5, menstruating women and for poultry production to boost food security systems.

    REG NO: AG242-3209/2014
    Course: BSc. Animal Health, Production and processing

    Farming crickets for human consumption is emerging as a promising novel, sustainable animal-source food production system. There is a need to shift towards more environmentally sustainable diets which is highlighted by edible insects as potential alternative livestock such as cattle and swine. Physiologically and biological difference between insects species and other conventional livestock species mean that insects do not use their metabolism to maintain body temperature and therefore use resources more efficiently.
    I personally agree on the farming of cricket as an emerging mini-livestock production system because the environmental impact of farming cricket maybe less than that of traditional livestock due to their poikilothermic nature, which allows more feed conversion, and could therefore be more sustainable kind of animal- source food. Alternatively insects such as ants, termites and lake flies can be consumed by various ethnic populations since the ubiquity of malnutrition and food insecurity is a motivating force to explore the potential increase of insect consumption.
    Insect consumption can complement meat in terms of food security measure due to their importance in addressing under-nutrition by providing dietary sources of macro- and micro-nutrients. Generally, the nutrient content of insects varies between and within species and by metamorphic/developmental stage. For instance, house cricket (Acheta domesticus) can contain 55-70% protein, 10-24% fat, and 414-455 kCal/100g and can supply significant levels of micro-nutrients such as calcium, potassium, iron and zinc. Therefore 100g of dry matter significantly can exceed the daily recommended nutrient intake of iron and zinc for children, women and men. Even small amount of crickets, such as 25g of dry matter, can provide substantial amount of micronutrients. Since there is a growing need for diets that are economically accessible, respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable and nutritionally adequate, the rearing of conventional livestock species can easily be replaced by the emerging mini- livestock production system.
    The growing amount of attention being placed on the potential of edible insect species to address food and nutrition security, and the environment are becoming increasingly known to a wide range of factors, the dynamics of these are still understudied. Thus, an enhanced understanding of the value chain, legislation and regulations, impact on the economy, and possible improvements in production methods and techniques is required. Moreover, investigation of the linkages between agriculture and nutrition is essential for the creation of more socially, environmental, economically and culturally sustainable food systems. Feed consumption and production period may also affect the environmental impact of the livestock, however insects are physiologically and biologically different from vertebrate livestock, thus, they convert feed into edible body mass more efficiently. Within farming system, the farmer controls the feed source, which is also referred to as substrate. Compound chicken feed, plant matter or by-products/waste streams can be fed to farmed crickets. The production of feed ingredients like soy and maize can have larger environmental impacts when compared to the potential substrates for crickets. The farming of insects can easily be improved by educating the farming on the feeding system and the environmental difference between insects and other conventional livestock’s which are commonly reared.

    REG NO: AG242-0347/2014

    Crickets are insect with a high feed conversion ration which can convert most of their feed into protein and edible portions. They consume both plants and animals and hence are omnivorous insects. Cricket farming requires less water since their need for water is reduced and the byproducts of the insect is free from methane, a gas that is responsible for warming in the atmosphere. There are many different types of crickets but the most common cricket species used as human food is the Acheta domesticus most commonly referred to as house cricket. These insects can be eaten as a whole or grounded and mixed with other food such as cakes and flour. They also may be farmed for animal feed and be fed to fish and birds.
    In context with cricket farming, I agree with the keeping of these insects for human food production since they require less farming space as compared to other animal food sources such as dairy farming. This makes it a more profitable farming enterprise as well as ensuring maximum utilization of the available land space. The farming of crickets requires less starting costs since the materials for farming of these insects are cheap and readily available hence easy to acquire. Crickets requires less feed to achieve maximum productivity. They are exothermic since they obtain their energy from the environment rather than utilizing the food they take to produce energy and these makes the more efficient in utilizing their feed and converting them into edible portions and protein for human consumption.
    Crickets can be used as meat complement in efforts to curb food insecurity within the country. This is because they have a high nutritional value, high protein and micro-nutrient contents. The farming of these insects requires much reduced space and energy. These insects also can be fed on a diverse organic diet thus making them highly flexible to be incorporated into other farming systems and be fed on agricultural wastes. Crickets in comparison with meat have a high nutrient efficiency. In every 100 grams of raw crickets, they contain 121 calories, 12.9 protein and 5.5 grams of fat. These insects have a reduced maturity period hence can mature early enough to be used as human food in times of shortages. Their high nutritional capability can be utilized in reducing the level of malnutrition within the human population.
    Insect farming can be improved through the promotion of private and public standardization at the national and international levels for insects as food and feed in conjunction of evaluation of market safety of the insects. It can also be done through the promotion of establishment of appropriate international and national standards and legal frameworks to enhance the use of insects as food and feed and the development and formalization of this sector. Insect farming can be improved via mobilization of farmers by organizing of field days to educate the people on the importance of insect farming and also through facilitating the setting up of insect farms through provision of finance and advisory assistance to those farmers wishing to venture into the enterprise.

  4. AG242-2488/2013

    Crickets are insects that are part of the Gryllidae family and belong to the order Orthoptera. They are related to bush crickets and somewhat more loosely related to grasshoppers.
    Characteristics of the cricket
    Gryllidae, or true crickets
    • have powerful hind legs
    • two pairs of wings
    • Flattened bodies and antennae that can be as long or longer than their body.
    How do crickets communicate?
    Crickets communicate by chirping and the chirps are species specific. Crickets use chirping to attract females or repel other males. The scientific name for cricket chirping is called “stridulation.” Crickets make this chirping sound by rubbing their wings together. One wing has a set of 50 to 300 “teeth” (like a comb) which is then rubbed against the upper hind edge of the other wing to produce the sound.
    A male Gryllus cricket chirping: Its head faces its burrow; the leathery fore wings are raised (clear of the more delicate hind wings) and are being scraped against each other (stridulation) to produce the song. The burrow acts as a resonator, amplifying the sound.
    Most male crickets make a loud chirping sound by stridulation. The stridulatory organ is located on the tegmen, or fore wing, which is leathery in texture. A large vein runs along the centre of each tegmen, with comb-like serrations on its edge forming a file-like structure, and at the rear edge of the tegmen is a scraper. The tegmina are held at an angle to the body and rhythmically raised and lowered which causes the scraper on one wing to rasp on the file on the other. The central part of the tegmen contains the “harp”, an area of thick, sclerotinized membrane which resonates and amplifies the volume of sound, as does the pocket of air between the tegmina and the body wall. Most female crickets lack the necessary adaptations to stridulate, so make no sound.
    Several types of cricket songs are in the repertoire of some species. The calling song attracts females and repels other males, and is fairly loud. The courting song is used when a female cricket is near and encourages her to mate with the caller. A triumphal song is produced for a brief period after a successful mating, and may reinforce the mating bond to encourage the female to lay some eggs rather than find another male. An aggressive song is triggered by contact chemoreceptors on the antennae that detect the presence of another male cricket.
    Crickets chirp at different rates depending on their species and the temperature of their environment. Most species chirp at higher rates the higher the temperature is (about 62 chirps a minute at 13 °C in one common species; each species has its own rate). The relationship between temperature and the rate of chirping is known as Dolbear’s law. According to this law, counting the number of chirps produced in 14 seconds by the snowy tree cricket, and adding 40 will approximate the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.

  5. Waithuki Daniel Njane.
    Surely this is a true cricket dance. The last time insects came into my mind was in a parasitology class and three pairs of legs is all I recall. Now here comes a twist of events, from reading in the books to food in the plate. When all media houses are all spreading the same news that crickets and food are one, it sounds great. When the word ugali is mentioned, you just remember that you are hungry. Now it should be like, when the words crickets or even grasshoppers pass through your ears, the only thing you can hope for is that your wife calls and asks what you would wish for dinner. And you will be like, yes! Yes! Mukimo and crickets!! ‘na upike nyingi ili tule hadi kesho asubuhi.’
    Kenya being a food insecure country, use of crickets for nutrition is a clear remedy to render the country food secure. By the fact that crickets are highly nutritious, it brings joy to the less fortunate having tongues of land or barely has any. This is because they can enjoy plenty of proteins at the door step. The resource scarcity in terms of capital, climate change as well as energy resilience, this sociological challenges find a remedy in the use of crickets and other insects for better nutrition.
    Animal feeds are magnifying the production cost in livestock rearing. This is due to the high costs of the feed ingredients, the likes of soybean, cotton seed cake and sun flower which are the main sources of proteins. Use of crickets in the animal feeds is a great achievement in terms of protein content and the cost of production of the crickets.
    Cricket farming for food should be the order of the day. In cricket farming, there is less pollution; less space is required, low time utilization, low technology, less intensive labour and less capital requirement. I find no need for the conventional sources of proteins where high investments, large tracts of land and intensive labour are the password to such enterprises. Crickets are richer in protein and iron than omena which are believed to have high protein.
    Women and youth and all genders too should rise up and grab this opportunity and venture in cricket farming because it’s less tedious and quick in cash making. Those who think that they have cricket phobia, it’s a high time they repent since the cricket value in terms of diet is beyond reproach.
    By being a friend of pancakes, I can’t imagine crickets in my pancakes but I crave for more iron and proteins in my diet. I hated crickets only to realize that you will only hate gold and throw it away only when you do not know its worth. It is suitable for children and pregnant mothers. So a free advice to pregnant mothers, ‘acheni kula mawe’ go for crickets, it’s the better option. Let’s get into the cricket dance and enjoy the ‘gitoero kia nyenje’ after the dance. !!!


    I agree with this post of cricket dance since When you mention cricket what’s come in the mind of many Kenyan is small disturbing insect that make a lot of noise during the night, while in other countries mostly the Asian countries its meal or delicacy to the humanity world. First and foremost I want to thank Jomo Kenyatta university of Agriculture and technology and also Dr. Kinyuru for setting up a platform in Kenya by introducing cricket farming. Cricket tend to have more benefits to human more than you can imagine. When you mention protein what’s comes in mind for most people here in Kenya will mention the likes of meat, beans, eggs and milk. Due to increased population and climatic change such as drought, floods this sources of protein may become limited and also high cost in purchasing or buying the products may limit some people not to have the level of protein their body requires. . Hence it was advisable to look for other sources of protein to fill the gap, and cricket production tend to be one of the solutions to this kind of need, for provision of alternative source of protein. Cricket tend to have high amount of protein mostly for young children which help in body building. For people with low iron levels and ladies are advised due to loss of more blood during menstrual cycle it’s good to eat cricket since they provide high amount of iron. The other benefit of cricket is when you want to set up cricket farm it will only use a small portion of land and it is easy to manage and also this helps in saving time. For those people who feels that it is weird or not pleasing to consume the cricket directly as stew there are other options that will make you long for that appetite of consuming this cricket delicacy. Cricket are harvested then they are dried milled with flour which can be used to make product such as cakes and pleased with some student doing project in making product such as pancakes and mini pizzas of which I would love to have a taste of one of this it sounds mouthwatering product. For farmers who want to learn or put up a cricket farm they will be enlightened and fully receive the full information about what to do and all that it takes to have a good production and knowledge on cricket farming. Media also have played a vital part in cricket farming by broadcasting of episodes of cricket farming in JKUAT mostly royal media this include citizen television and Inooro television also Agritech news magazine publish a journal of cricket farming in Kenya. Though I want to pose a challenge on other media they can advertise or inform people about the benefit of eating cricket and also the government should encourage this kind of project since they are part of poverty eradication and also helps in food security in our country. I would suggest Jomo Kenyatta university of agriculture and technology can sell this cricket products such as cakes chapatti and mini pizzas to the student center and by this people will adapt easily and spread the word easily even through use of social media such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp.

    REG NO: AG 242-0348/2014.
    Due to climate and season change in Kenya and almost all over the world there is big threat in food security and precisely in nutrition sector. Increased demand for protein coupled with high costs of fish meal and soybean, climatic changes resulting to low yield of food crops, among other environmental factors calls a reason to search for alternative sources of protein for animal feed and human food. The research progress so far is appreciated because there are answers provided to food insecurity and malnutrition every day.
    Successful research concerning cricket and insect at large farming has shown that we should worry no more. Cricket has many advantages which includes the nutrition profile of insects specifically proteins exceed that of conventional sources such as omena and other plant proteins, secondly insects farming will lead to less pollution and less space and time utilization compared to other animal protein sources. Also, Insect farming is easy because they are not labour intensive; needs low technological and capital requirements, thus appropriate for many African countries.
    Crop and animal farming in Kenya is declining each and every day since the population is increasing while the peace of land per farmer is decreasing. Unlike the crop and animal farming that requires big potion of land, cricket farming requires small portion of land. For one to venture in cricket farming needs some skills which are offered by special extension officers. Upon having the required skills cricket farming can be practiced anywhere despite of varying environmental factors. Crickets can mitigate challenges such as lack of enough protein which lead to malnutrition in human and livestock and also lack of income (JKUAT offers ready market in Kenya). Other than farming cricket for commercial purposes one can farm for home consumption.
    Many Kenyan may wonder how one can “swallow” cricket but there are a number of recipes and cricket based human food products in an effort to demystify the insects as suitable for human consumption. Some of the products which can be derived are: stir fry, mini pizzas, cookies, muffins, granola bars, pancakes, buns and chapatis.
    Most of people are held up by believes that are not scientifically proven to be true. This believes hold us to limited access of food and feeds. There are much more potentials in insect sector which can’t be ignored as far as food insecurity and malnutrition is concerned. It’s the high time we should venture in cricket farming to safe lives of those who are starving and dying hopelessly. Not only people without food but also saving children under age of five and menstruating women since it has minerals such as iron which is important for blood formation.
    In conclusion we should all embrace insect farming as early as possible because it the last and cheap hope left in fighting food insecurity and malnutrition.

  8. Name: Kyalo Patrick Musee
    REG NO: AG 242-0352/2014
    Cricket Dance
    I accept turning to insect farming in Kenya and Africa is very important. Insect farming has less important on environmental pollution, source of food, protein to large proportion of population, requirements such like land and capital needs this is because insects such as crickets feed less and large of those insects can be farmed under very small space.
    Crickets farming is done mainly for agricultural purpose and as well as human consumption. Some important benefits of crickets and other insect’s production as whole as turned attention towards their commercial production.
    These includes,
    Reduced feed requirements
    Cattle uses 12 times the amount of feed can that can be used by crickets to produce equal amount of protein. Some insects also can spend only a quarter of feed given to chicken and swine to produce an equivalent amount of protein. Crickets only require only two pounds of feed to produce one pound of finished products. This is because most of insects are exothermic hence no energy loss to sustain body with required heat.
    Land usage.
    In Kenya land is limited to increasing population of individuals. Large proportion of land more than 70% is under agricultural use, as result tremendous amount of land over change which destroys local ecosystems, displaces peoples and wildlife. Insect production is minimally space intensive compared to other convectional livestock and can even take place in populated urban centers.
    Greenhouse gas emission
    The raising livestock is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gases emitted. Insect can be used as alternative source of protein and help decrease the greenhouse gas emitted from food production. Insects raising has negligible emission compared to livestock.
    Nutrient efficiency.
    Insects are nutrient efficient compared to other meat sources. Locust for example contain between 8 and 20 milligrams of iron for every 100 grams of raw locusts. Beef on the other hand contain roughly 6 milligrams of iron in the same amount of meat. Crickets as well are very efficient when you compare nutrients. For every 100 grams of substance crickets contain 12.9 grams of protein, 121 calories and 5.5 grams of energy. Beef contains more protein, containing 23.5grams of protein in 100 grams of substance but also roughly three times calories and four times energy as crickets.
    The insect rearing in Kenya can used in poverty elimination. Crickets for good example can be used to produce multiples of products such as cakes this will provide population with cheap and available source of protein. On start of farms a lot of employment opportunities will be created to many Kenyans more to youth who are facing problem of unemployment as result the life style of many individuals will be improved.
    The government therefore should look forward to invest in insect production by establishment of large farms which will enable provision of employment and boast food security. Insect production will also enable intensive use of available land resources and prevent environmental pollution to environment.


    When one mentions crickets, one main thought comes to mind for most people; they are tiny noisy insects that are a nuisance especially at night when you are sleep. The prevailing assumption is that a cricket if spotted in the environment or crevices of the house you should trump on it and end its life before it starts to bother you as night approaches. This is due to our limited imagination when it comes to sources of food. I know am not alone in this myopic perception, therefore, I’d love to try disambiguating this wide field.
    Growing up on occasion I would wake up in the middle of the night trying to find some noisy insect probably below the bed or in a corner somewhere in the room. In hindsight I can’t help but fathom what if I had caught a handful of crickets when out playing for mum to make dinner with. But who am I kidding she probably would think I have gone off the rails. Research has showed crickets are rich in nutrients and could just be the answer to adequate nutrition. It goes without saying a kilogram of crickets would be much cheaper than chicken or beef and if cricket is a delicious nutrient rich diet I mean why not go the cricket way.
    It would so nice to walk into a supermarket or food joint and order a meal made with crickets. I can’t help but wonder with the ban on polythene bags, picture buying crickets from the shelf in a supermarket then walking with the package of crickets exposed on the street. Some curious onlookers would probably think you are crazy but for some who are open to trying out new delicacies would salivate or drool saliva if they have tried crickets. With the advent of fast food restaurants and the habit of eating out at the newest food joint in town. Venturing into cricket farming and recipes based on cricket wouldn’t be so hard. Compared to livestock like cattle that require a large piece of land, with crickets all you need is a small house and you can keep hundreds of crickets if not thousands.
    The tough part would be convincing skeptical people that a meal of crickets is as healthy as beef. Crickets are a feasible food security alternative which if given adequate funding for more research and support. Next time I will be visiting my grandmother instead of buying her beef or coco yams (duma) I will buy crickets or cakes made from crickets. Wonder if I explained to her that the cakes are made from crickets after she’s had them, how she would react. She probably laugh and pout at the amazement of how sweet and normal the cake tastes.
    Crickets are within the purchasing power of everyone as they are cheap, locally available and feeding them isn’t that much of a hustle and is not quite intricate. It’s a walk in the park venturing into the market where people are only accustomed to a few meat or rather protein sources. Over time people would be ok and not find it odd for instance having crickets for breakfast or a banquet where cricket is the main ingredient.

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