Value Chain Mapping of Edible Termites (Macrotermes subhylanus) as an Alternative Source of Income to Rural Livelihoods in Alego Usonga
Reducing food insecurity remains a public policy challenge in developing countries. Food insecurity becomes severe in areas where households highly depend on undiversified livelihoods. Entomophagy has been perceived as a solution towards food security due to its nutritional benefits, environmentally friendly attributes and its potential to generate income. However, information to aid its commercialisation is limited, hence the need for value chain mapping. This paper assesses the value chain of edible termites (Macrotermes subhylanus) in Alego Usonga Sub County with the aim of promoting it as an alternative source of income. This study sought to understand the value chain actors from input supplier to consumption and their role in the value chain. Simple random sampling was used to obtain participants for the study. Face-to-face interviews and structured questionnaires were administered to 225 respondents to collect data on value chain actors and their roles. Value chain mapping technique was used for functional and technical analysis of the alate termites’ value chain. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics Chi-square tests, with the aid of Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS) version 20. Value chain actors in the termite value chain included input suppliers (1.8), producers/collectors (4%), retailers (13.3%) and consumers (80.9). There was a significant difference (P ≤ 0.05) in terms of input supplier and producer/ collectors of termites; a high significant difference (P ≤ 0.001) was also recorded in hawkers and retailers, where women were reported to play a vital role in hawking and retailing of termites. In terms of transportation, human transport (82.7%) was preferred over motorbikes. Although the value chain actors agreed that edible termites could contribute to additional sources of income, the sector was insufficiently supported by farmer groups and associations, lending institutions, research, and extension service providers
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