We are establishing the potential use of termite collection as a means of enhancing food security in West Africa. This year, we undertook a three month field trip to Northern Benin. We observed local collection methods and use of termites as a food resource. We established a cheap but effective light trap ($7) that can work off grid and will greatly improve harvesting efficiency from current methods; we will deploy this and test the technology next year. We established links with the local health/malnutrition centre to develop use of termites in aiding against malnourishment in this community. We additionally mapped termite mounds to ascertain the total resource available. We established satellite mapping was not effective, as when mounds are observed, they are commonly not alive. The proportion of dead termite mounds was unexpected, and the cause of mound death is unclear. Finally, we collected and preserved some termites for nutritional analysis; these proved the material was very high in lipid, protein and B vitamins, so represented an excellent nutritional supplement.
Professor vid Chalmers, Biology and Biological Engineering, Food and Nutrition Science
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Funding Chalmers participation during 2018
Areas of Advance