A survey on entomophagy prevalence in Zimbabwe

  • S Dube
  • NR Dlamini
  • A Mafunga
  • M Mukai
  • Z Dhlamini
Keywords: Entomophagy, Food, Nutrition, Zimbabwe, insects


This study was to determine the prevalence of entomophagy in the post independence era (after 1980) in Zimbabwe given that the social status of many families has changed. A cross-sectional non probability sampling was used to determine who ate which insect and how much they ate and where they came from. The availability of each insect was determined at provinces and through key informants. Data were collected through questionnaires and physical visits to all provinces of Zimbabwe to
collect empirical data. The population of those that never participated in entomophagy was less than 10% across the age groups in the sampled populations. In the order, Lepidoptera, which comprises several species the larval stages are mostly consumed in the fourth instar after degutting. The caterpillars are known locally as madora. Imbrasia belina was consumed by more than 90% of the respondents. In the order Isoptera
Macrotermes sp. [ishwa] were consumed by more than 80% of the respondents. In the order Coleoptera Eulepida sp, [mandere] and Sternocera orissa [zvigakata] are also widely consumed. In the order Hemiptera only, Encosternum delegorguei [Haruwa] adult is consumed. In the order Homoptera only Loba leopardina [Nyeza nyeza] adult is consumed. In the order Hymenoptera only Carebara vidua [Tsambarafuta] adult is consumed. In the order Orthoptera Brachytrupes membranaceus [Gurwe], Locusta migratoria [mhashu] and Ruspolia differens [Nswabanda] are consumed. Records of quantities of insects harvested are here presented. Protein content of fully grown Imbrasia belina done by the Kjeldahl method was 54-58%. Matebeleland province had the highest tonnage of insects, most of which were exported to other provinces
even to neighbouring countries. Manicaland harvested the least quantities of insects. Most of those who consumed insects preferred them in the dried form which were said to have improved organoleptic properties. Drying the insects prolonged their shelf life. Food security strategies for Zimbabwe should include management of harvesting and storage of these insects.

Key words: Entomophagy, Food, Nutrition, Zimbabwe, insects


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5374
print ISSN: 1684-5358