Abstract: The utilization of insect-based feeds (IBF) as an alternative protein source is increasingly gaining momentum worldwide owing to recent concerns over the impact of food systems on the environment. However, its large-scale adoption will depend on farmers’ acceptance of its key qualities. This study evaluates farmer’s perceptions of commercial IBF products and assesses the factors that would influence its adoption. It employs principal component analysis (PCA) to develop perception indices that are subsequently used in multiple regression analysis of survey data collected from a sample of 310 farmers. Over 90% of the farmers were ready and willing to use IBF. The PCA identified feed performance, social acceptability of the use of insects in feed formulation, feed versatility and marketability of livestock products reared on IBF as the key attributes that would inform farmers’ purchase decisions. Awareness of IBF attributes, group membership, off-farm income, wealth status and education significantly influenced farmers’ perceptions of IBF. Interventions such as experimental
demonstrations that increase farmers’ technical knowledge on the productivity of livestock fed on IBF are crucial to reducing farmers’ uncertainties towards acceptability of IBF. Public partnerships with resource-endowed farmers and farmer groups are recommended to improve knowledge sharing on IBF.
Keywords: environment; insect-based feed; multiple regressions; perceptions; principal component