Determinants of acceptability of cricket consumption and adoption for improved food security among riparian communities of the Victoria Basin, Kenya
overburdened environment; malnutrition is likely to be on the rise with human population growth projected at 9.7 billion by 2050. This has seen cricket consumption for household food security increasing in the past decade. Cricket (acheta domesticus) farming can contribute positively to solving malnutrition problems being experienced among the riparian communities in the Kenyan Lake Victoria Basin. Cricket farming presents a livelihood diversification strategy that can help buffer rural households against food insecurity and provide an alternative source of income. However, its adoption as an alternative source of protein for improved household food security has remained low among smallholder farmers. The study investigated determinants of acceptability of cricket consumption and its influence on adoption for farming as an alternative source of food. The study employed a mixed methods research approach to collect quantitative and qualitative data from 120 trained cricket farmers from selected riparian counties including Siaya, Kisumu and Homa Bay in Kenyan Victoria basin. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression model were used to summarize quantitative data while content analysis was used to analyze qualitative data by thematic arrangements and similarities across different investigation areas. Based on data analyzed, the results indicated that cultural beliefs, perception and attitude such as cultural value attached to cricket consumption (p = 0.021), crickets are sweet and tender than poultry (p = 0.037) as well as age with a p<0.028, had statistical significance on acceptability to cricket consumption. On the other hand, regression β coefficient of awareness, access and availability were found to have no association with the adoption of cricket farming. The study recommended that: first, the government formulates a policy on farming edible insects as mini-livestock and improved food security. Secondly, further study is needed to determine possible strategies for changing attitude towards cricket consumption for increased adoption by smallholder farmers.
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