In accordance with the United Nation’s SDGs to zero hunger and a drastic drop in undernourished people globally, the University of Energy and Natural Resources has been selected under the funding of DANIDA to partner with other universities in Denmark, Kenya and Uganda to conduct research in insect farming for healthy livelihood.
On April 4, 2022, the Head of the Department of Horticulture and Crop Production at the Dormaa Campus of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Dr. Jacob Paarechuga Anankware, led a team of researchers, experts and technicians on the “HEALTHYNSECT” project to pay a courtesy call on the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Elvis Asare-Bediako and Management of the University.
Briefing management at the Council Chamber, on the US$1.85 million DANIDA funded project, Dr. Anankware who is also the Project Coordinator from UENR, explained that insects are recognized as some of the most promising alternative food sources, which can contribute to high-quality animal protein for a sustainable food system to augment the nutritional value of humans. He added that the project requires the team to empower rural farmers under the support of entrepreneurs and innovators to cultivate more insects that are edible for commercial purposes. He also said that the team in their few days’ stay in Sunyani would afford them a common ground to further deliberate on issues towards the goals of the project.
According to the Dr. Anankware, the following edible insects will be reared; the African palm larvae popularly called “Akokono” in Ghana, crickets in Kenya and grasshoppers in Uganda. He also mentioned that the project will also train five (5) Postdoctoral Fellows, five (5) PHD candidates and two Master’s students.
The Vice-Chancellor expressed his appreciation to the project team for their quest to ensure food security and the government’s agenda for the creation of jobs and equal opportunity for all adding that UENR is proud to be associated with the project. He added that the School of Agriculture would be pivotal to the implementation of the Project, showing optimism that the project would be successful.
Adding to the Vice Chancellor’s statements, the Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adebayo Felix Adebayo noted the project is unique due to the varied background of the researchers and technical team. He reiterated management’s support for the project.
The other partner universities are the Makerere University (MAK) in Uganda; The Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology (JOOUST), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), the Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology (MMUST) and the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE). Representing Denmark is the University of Copenhagen (UCP).