Perceptions and Preferences for Insect-Based Chicken Feeds Analysis in Kiambu County by Afrika Okello Onguko

Demand for poultry products continues to increase with increase in incomes, particularly in Africa. Challenges experienced in acquiring feeds such as high prices discourage the productivity of the enterprise. Insects are part of the natural ecosystem and have high crude protein making them a suitable candidate in feed formulation. The presentation highlighted the black soldier fly as best source of protein, through a research conducted by ICIPE and has been used as source of protein in other countries and can reduce production costs by 24%. The study will however, seek farmers’ perceptions and preference for chicken feeds that incorporated insects as the source of protein before its introduction into the market to minimize on failure of its use. The study will be conducted in Kiambu County in Kenya.

Poultry feed accounts for 60 to70 percent of the costs of poultry production due to expensive protein ingredient that is a key component. Expensive feed has seen poultry farmers scale down production or abandon the enterprise despite the currently high and projected increased demand for poultry products. Insects like the black soldier fly larvae (BSFL) have been identified as the best alternative source of protein for poultry feeds. Previous studies have focused on the nutritional profile of the BSFL and consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for the end-products of chicken reared on insect-based feeds. Little is known on farmers’ perceptions and preferences for insect-based chicken feed in poultry production in Kenya. To address this gap, this study aims to: assess poultry farmers’ perceptions of insect-based chicken feed and their WTP for insect-based poultry feed attributes. Primary data will be collected through a series of multi-stage sampling frompoultry farmersin Kiambu County, Kenya. The tobit and random parameter logit (RPL) models will be applied to assess and evaluate the perceptions and WTP data, respectively. The results of the study will offer empirical insights on how to improve the regulatory framework guiding the use of insects in feed in poultry production.