Domesticating caterpillars helps the very poor in south-central Africa. Validated RNRRS Output.


This is one of 280 summaries describing key outputs from the projects run by DFID's 10-year Renewable Natural Resources Research Strategy (RNRRS) programmes.

Summary for Project title: R7304: Zimbabwe: Micro-catchment management and common property resources.

In southern Africa, people with virtually nothing could now become farmers. Villagers in Botswana and Zimbabwe already domesticate and farm the Mopane Worm, an edible caterpillar. Both rural and urban folk relish these caterpillars. Harvested from woodlands throughout south-central Africa, and high in protein and fat, they are also an important food for the rural poor. Now, caterpillar farming can be a household enterprise. Children help find and collect eggs and the adults, mainly women, raise the larvae, and harvest and market the caterpillars. Proven methods of breeding, processing and storing the caterpillars ensure a steady output and maintain quality. Many other edible caterpillars popular all over sub-Saharan Africa could be domesticated and farmed like this.

The CD has the following information for this output: Description, Validation, Current Situation, Current Promotion, Impacts On Poverty, Environmental Impact. Attached PDF (14 pp.) taken from the CD.


FRP41, New technologies, new processes, new policies: tried-and-tested and ready-to-use results from DFID-funded research, Research Into Use Programme, Aylesford, Kent, UK, ISBN 978-0-9552595-6-2, p 46.

Published 1 January 2007