Farmers’ Knowledge and Perceptions in the Production of Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) for Enhanced Food Security in Kenya

  • Dennis Ouma Ong’or Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology
  • Mary Akinyi Orinda, PhD Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology
  • Benard Otieno Abel, PhD Sustainable Integrated Research Development Initiatives Kenya
Keywords: Coconut farmers, Oryctes rhinoceros, Knowledge and perception (KP), Kilifi
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Local knowledge and perceptions regarding the value of edible insects among smallholder farmers are critical to introducing such enterprises and designing effective insect productivity-enhancing interventions. However, limited studies have been done in Kenya regarding insects as agricultural enterprises, specifically in the Kilifi region. A survey was carried out among 207 smallholder farmers of coconut palm in Kilifi North and South sub-counties to assess their knowledge and perceptions about Oryctes rhinoceros as a farm enterprise. The primary data was collected using a structured questionnaire triangulated by key informant interviews from the Department of Agriculture, Nuts and Oil Crop Directorate, and farmer group leaders. Descriptive statistics and a chi-square test were the major analyses. Results showed farmers had adequate knowledge and positive perceptions regarding the beetle and its useful larval stage, represented by the mean of 0.97 and 3.44, respectively. The age, education level, prior exposure to training on edible insect farming, religion, and years of coconut farming of the farmers are associated with the levels of knowledge and perceived values of the Oryctes rhinoceros farming. Considering the positive knowledge levels and perceptions among Kilifi farmers, rather than focusing on general awareness creation, there is a need to enhance the access to and use of agricultural training resources to learn the importance of agricultural innovations as a tool for food insecurity alleviation through intensive processes. The extension systems need to incorporate the concepts of edible insects. This will render an innovation sustainable and useful for economically disadvantaged people. Further studies should be done among livestock feed traders and even food and feed processors to enable effective commercialisation interventions


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11 January, 2024
How to Cite
Ong’or, D., Orinda, M., & Abel, B. (2024). Farmers’ Knowledge and Perceptions in the Production of Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) for Enhanced Food Security in Kenya. East African Journal of Agriculture and Biotechnology, 7(1), 13-25.