A Non-Governmental organisation in Laikipia has ventured into the business of making fertilizers and livestock feeds using locusts.
Samuel Mbugua and fellow youth in the area have been smiling all the way to the bank after getting hired to catch the locusts.
“We are grateful for the locusts coming to this area because we are making a living out of them,” Samuel told a local radio station.
“One day, we were just called and told to hunt the locusts and we were paid. That has been our job since.”
For every kilo of locusts caught, one is paid Ksh50. “On a good day, one can catch about 200 kilograms of locusts which translates to Ksh 10,000,” says Mbugua.
The only challenge he and his workmates are now facing is where to locate enough locusts. Since the locusts are very active during the day, they can only be caught in the evening.
Albert Lemasulani, an employee at the farm, revealed says the locusts undergo a simple process of being turned into feeds. “They are first crushed then spread on black polythene papers to dry up,” he says.
They are used as ingredients in making livestock feeds and fertilizers, replacing soya and omena.
The nutritional value of locusts is estimated at 60 percent (protein), making it very essential to livestock and crops. “Protein is the main ingredient in livestock products,” Albert added.
Albert said however that not all locusts were viable for making feeds and fertilizers.
“The locusts that have been sprayed contain chemicals that may be harmful when used in making the products.”
The locust menace in Kenya began about two years ago and has not been managed despite the government setting aside Khh3 billion.