A new film demonstrating the potential of insect-based animal feed as a cost-effective and novel protein source has been released.

It has been produced by African partners in Mali and Ghana from the EC-funded PROteINSECT project, which has been investigating whether feeding insects to farmed animals is a safe and sustainable alternative to their current diet.

Launched on the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s World Food Day (16 October) – which draws attention to the persistent challenges of hunger, malnutrition and future food security – the film looks at how insect-based animal feed could help small-scale farmers in Africa and meat producers worldwide.

Dr Marc Kenis, entomologist at the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) and PROteINSECT partner, said: “The feeding trials are a key stage in our search for a more sustainable source of protein than those currently in use.

See also: Insects could replace soya in poultry feed

“Insect flour offers huge potential as an added, economically-viable, ‘home grown’ protein source for farmers who have traditionally relied upon fish meal and soy flour.”

Dr Sidi Traore, who runs a poultry farm in the Mali capital Bamako, said in the film: “I think this is an extraordinary opportunity because currently it is very difficult to have a stable and affordable food production which can provide enough protein.”

Earlier this month, the European Food Safety Authority published its scientific opinion on the comparative risks of insects as a source of protein for food and feed, saying insects were “no more risky than other proteins”.