2011-2012: Project on commercial insects and the insect trade in Southwestern region of Cameroon
Project financed by IRD, under the IFORA Project fund
This project was funded under IRD led IFORA Project and was aimed at studying indigenous use of forest insects (beetles) as an income source and to evaluate the insect value chain in the Southwest region of Cameroon. In this region, many poor inhabitants of rural areas harvest beetles and other species of insects from the forest for trade to intermediaries who export to Europe, North America and Asia. This trade provides complementary household income to forest dependent populations who rely basically on agriculture, hunting and gathering for their livelihoods. Income obtained from insect trade supports basic household needs and facilitates the acquisition of some farming inputs, but the sector remains informal. Considering the socioeconomic importance of this sector, it would be beneficial if this trade is formalized and farmers trained on sustainable exploitation practices. This will increase benefits and concomitantly foster the impact of this activity on poverty alleviation and community based conservation of the relic forest patches that harbor the insects.