Box 7.2: Bee-keeping and Saturniidae caterpiller project 


 Box 7.2 Bee-keeping and Saturniidae caterpillar projects in Malawi

Honey and numerous species of insects, particularly termites, cicada, some species of grasshopper and the larvae of the Saturniidae emperor moth are widely eaten in Malawi and are good sources of food and income to the rural communities. Bee-keeping and caterpillar utilisation (Matondo and Virungulungu) inside Kasungu National Park earn the local subsistence farmers around the park more (MK1015/ha) income than conventional agricultural enterprises, such as maize, groundnuts and beans (MK417/ha) at 1991 Kwacha rates.

Bee-keeping and Saturniidae caterpillar utilisation require minimum labour inputs, and are based on the traditional practices, while the productivity of agricultural enterprises depends on high input outlays (labour, fertilizer, high quality seed and chemicals for pest control) that an average smallholder farmer cannot afford.


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