Insect farming for health and livelihoods

HEALTHYNSECT is an inter-disciplinary research project investigating the impacts of insect consumption and production on nutritional status, health and livelihoods in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.

Online photo of project members

Nothing can stop the HEALTHYNSECT research consortium! Despite the COVID-19 travel restrictions, we met online to kick off the project (Missing from this photo: Dr. Philip Nyeko, Dr. Mohammed Alemu, Dr. Søren Bøye Olsen).




We investigate the role of:

  1. incentivizing insect farming by providing farmers with start-up insect farming kits and training;
  2. incentivizing insect consumption in rural communities by providing a nutritious insect-based food supplements designed for children along with nutrition education;
  3. a combined intervention of incentivizing farming and consumption as these factors are likely to have complementary effects.



Insects are some of the most promising sustainable and healthy food sources. They have rapid growth rates and high feed conversion ratios, making them less of an environmental burden than conventional livestock and chicken. Insects are a rich source of high-quality animal protein and micronutrients, which is important as micronutrient deficiency among the main dietary deficiencies in low-income countries. While consuming edible insects collected from the wild has long been a part of traditional diets, farming insects as “mini-livestock” is emerging as a novel animal production.

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most nutritionally insecure regions in the world. Unbalanced diets and dietary deficiencies are among the main underlying problems of malnutrition. Insect farming holds the potential of becoming a sustainable and effective agricultural production-system, contributing to multiple Sustainable Development Goals if successfully introduced and adopted.

Building on the research and lessons learned from the 2014-2017 GREEiNSECT research project in Kenya, HEALTHYINSECT will fill critical gaps in our understanding of how insects can contribute to future sustainable food systems. HEALTHYNSECT’s core research activity is the implementation of a multi-site intervention study using a cluster-randomized factorial design to assess the main and combined effects of enhancing insect consumption and production on nutrition, health and livelihoods. The project includes the farming and consumption of three insect species in three countries: palm weevil larvae in Ghana, crickets in Kenya and nsenene in Uganda. 














Involved in the project

Name Title Phone E-mail
Afton Marina Szasz Halloran Postdoc +4535332656 E-mail
Mie Normand Research Assistant +4535332289 E-mail
Nanna Roos Associate Professor +4535332497 E-mail

Funded by

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (MFA), administered by Danida Fellowship Centre

Period: May 2020 - April 2023.


Associate Professor Nanna Roos

Postdoc Afton Halloran


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