Harvesting modalities and periods of edible caterpillars in the Republic of the Congo
Cette étude s'inscrit dans le cadre de la valorisation des produits locaux afin de lutter contre l'insécurité alimentaire. Son objectif est d'inventorier les différentes techniques de récolte des chenilles comestibles au Congo, de déterminer les différentes périodes de récolte et les types de personnes impliquées dans cette récolte. Des missions de terrain prenant en compte le calendrier des cycles probables des lépidoptères dans les différents départements ont été réalisées dans les écosystèmes forestiers et de savane congolais. Cette étude a montré que la méthode la plus courante de récolte des chenilles est le ramassage, suivi du secouage des branches des plantes hôtes par les grimpeurs. Cette activité n'est pas spécifique au genre, et est pratiquée aussi bien par les jeunes que par les vieux. Le moment de la récolte des chenilles varie d'un écosystème à l'autre et même entre les hémisphères. L'élagage, l'abattage des plantes hôtes, la récolte des chrysalides enfouies dans le sol après la saison, les feux de brousse sont autant de facteurs qui contribuent à la diminution des chenilles comestibles, voire à la disparition de certaines espèces. L'augmentation de leur production nécessite des programmes d'agroforesterie tels que la conservation et le reboisement des espèces forestières dont les chenilles se nourrissent, ainsi que l'élevage des chenilles.
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