Palm Weevil Larvae Farming

URGENT

“Farms for Orphans is feeding a really vulnerable population a food that they love.

Wendy Lu McGill, Farms for Orphans board member, Founder Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch

Farms for Orphans in partnership with Global Orphan Foundation, UN FAO in Kinshasa and the University of Kinshasa is implementing small-scale palm weevil larvae farms to bring sustainable nutrition and economic empowerment to our orphanage partners.

Palm weevil larvae (i.e. grubs) are consumed by the majority of inhabitants in the Congo Basin. The grubs are extremely rich in essential nutrients, unsaturated fatty acids, and essential amino acids. They also have high values of magnesium, calcium, potassium and iron, making them an excellent food source for malnourished children. We expect the addition of this nutritious super-food to the children’s diet will result in a decrease in malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and anemia.

 

2018 NUTRIENT TABLE - CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

 

 

Currently, the grubs are collected from the wild and are inconsistently available. The grubs are considered a delicacy and market prices are higher than that of chicken or beef. By farming palm weevil grubs, orphanages not only have year-round access to this popular protein source but also have the option to sell a portion of their harvest at local markets for income that may be used to purchase fruits and vegetables, clothing and pay for school fees.

Farming palm weevil grubs require vastly fewer resources (land, feed, water) than traditional livestock rearing. Orphanages need only one small room or outdoor shelter to begin their own grub farm.

It cost approximately $200 USD to supply one orphanage with the supplies necessary to start their own farm.

 

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Information & Details

2018 Nutrition Table

2018 Nutrition Table

Table 1: Micronutrient results compared with RDA for children < 18 years old.
Element RDA 7-12 mo (mg/d) RDA 1-3 yr (mg/d) RDA 4-6 yr (mg/d) RDA 7-9 yr (mg/d) RDA 10-18 yr (mg/d) Farmed PWL (mg/100g) Wild-harvested PWL (mg/100g)
*Ca 400 500 600 700 1000 103 95
Cl 1567 1450
Cu 0.22 0.34 0.44 0.7 0.89 2.959 2.662
*Fe 6.2 3.9 4.2 5.9 13 (avg) 7.597 8.262
K 700 3000 3800 4500 4700 1499 1387
*Mg 54 60 76 100 220 270 283
Mn 0.6 1.2 1.5 1.75 (avg) 1.9 (avg) 2.948 3.062
P 275 460 500 1250 1250 743 747
*Se 0.01 0.02 0.02 0.02 0.03 (avg) 0.134 0.441
*Zn 8.4 8.3 9.6 11.2 15.8 (avg) 22.12 23.29
  According to WHO, the top three micronutrient disorders in the world are Iron, Vitamin A and iodine deficiency.   RDA = Recommended Daily Allowance. The average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy people.  Jointly published by The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). *RDA’s from WHO/FAO Vitamin and Nutrient requirements in Human Nutrition (WHO 2004) (avg) = the average RDA for males and females of age category.   Fe RDA based on 15% bioavailability (Diet characteristics: Meat/fish negligible; high phytate; high tannin and low ascorbic acid)
  • Cu may interfere with Fe absorption
  Zn RDA based on diet with low bioavailability (Diets high in unrefined, unfermented, and ungerminated cereal grain, especially when intake of animal protein is negligible. High-phytate, soya-protein products constitute the primary protein source)     Table 2: Macronutrient results compared with RDA for children < 18 years old.
Element RDA 6-12 mo (g/d) RDA 1-3 yr (g/d) RDA 4-8 yr (g/d) RDA 9-13 yr (g/d) RDA 14-18 yr (g/d) Farmed PWL % wet wt/ % dry wt Wild-harvested PWL % wet wt/ % dry wt
Protein 11 13 19 34 49 (avg) 10.243/ 26.7 8.293/
Fat 30 ND ND ND ND 19.629/ 51.1 14.368/
Carbs 95 130 130 130 130 5.886/ 15.3 7.085
Fiber ND 19 25 28.5 (avg) 32 (avg) 1.572/ 4.09 1.287/
Ash 1.062/ 2.8 0.954/
      *ND: not determined Fat intake varies depending on daily energy intake (kcal/day) » 12 PWL = 100 g serving     Table 3: Comparison of micronutrient analysis with published results.
Micronutrient FFO/GOF Farmed PWL mg/100g Okunowo et al. 2017 Wild- caught/Nigeria mg/100g   Omotoso & Adedire 2007 Purchased from market/Nigeria mg/100g ELS/LLS   Ekpo & Onigbinde 2005 Wild- caught/Nigeria mg/100g   Bukkens 2005 From FAO doc. mg/100g Payne et al. 2016 Review paper
Ca 103 6.5 0.028/0.027 60.81 36.1± 33.3
Cl 1567 ND ND
Cu 2.959 0.05 ND 1.26 0.968± 1.25
Fe 7.597 7.01 0.65/0.60 65.23 11.8± 20.9
K 1499 4.99 45.5/45.7 26.65 152± 244
Mg 270 2.49 6.069/4.352 127.16 42.5± 59.4
Mn 2.948 ND 0.049/0.030 1.16 4.27± 7.81
P 743 ND 0.489/0.652 129± 208
Se 0.134 ND ND
Zn 22.12 0.50 0.047/0.031 10.57 26.5 4.63± 4.93
  Table 4: Comparison of macronutrient analysis with published results.
Macronutrient FFO/GOF Farmed PWL %wet wt/ %dry wt Okunowo et al. 2017 Wild- caught/Nigeria %wet wt/ %dry wt Omotoso & Adedire 2007 Purchased from market/Nigeria ELS/LLS (don’t know if values are based on wet or dry wt)   Ekpo & Onigbinde 2005 Wild- caught/Nigeria %wet wt/ %dry wt Payne et al. 2016 Review paper
Protein 10.243/ 26.7 24.43/ 52.88 9.10/ 10.51 8.38/ 22.06 15.9± 10.7
Fat 19.629/ 51.1 15.36/ 33.25 61.45/ 62.13 25.30/ 66.61 31.8± 15.6
Carbs 5.886/ 15.3 3.14/ 6.79 4.93/ 7.82 2.1/ 5.53
Fiber 1.572/ 4.09 2.27/ 4.91 22.14/ 17.22 ND
Ash 1.062/ 2.8 1.0/ 2.16 2.37/ 2.33 2.20/ 5.79
  ELS = early stage larvae LLS = late stage larvae    

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