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Improving rural livelihoods through participative research on the domestication and breeding of the palm weevil larvae (Rhynchophorus phoenicis Fabr.) : the African palm weevil project : final project report

  • Muafor, F.J.
  • Le Gall, Philippe
  • Levang, Patrice
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Horizon / Pleins textes
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As part of efforts to fight against food insecurity, poverty and biodiversity erosion, this project was elaborated to initiate the breeding and domestication of the palm weevil grubs (edible larvae of the African palm weevil: Rhynchophorus phoenicis Fabricius, 1801). The project was aimed at determining an appropriate technique and feed formula for the domestication of the larvae, as well as training local people on acquired multiplication and breeding techniques. In order to meet this objective, an experimental system was established in the village of Ntoung, Abong-Mbang Division, East Cameroon. The experimental system was made up of a hut and seven boxes in which the domestication attempts were made. Four feed formulas were introduced in the boxes as substrates to which adult palm weevils were added after being coupled. The feed formulas included: i) only fresh stems of raffia; ii) A mixture of fresh and decayed raffia tissues; iii) Only decayed raffia tissues; and iv) A mixture of decayed raffia tissues and chicken feed. Water was sprinkled on the substrate on a daily basis to maintain the humidity of the milieu. In total, 13 grown individuals of palm weevil grubs were harvested in the domestication attempt, with only two of the feed formulas being efficient for the production of the grubs. However, young maggots were noticed in all the three food formulas within the first two weeks of the experiment, most of which died within the third week. Introduced adult weevils remained alive throughout the experimental period in some of the food formulas, while the survival of these weevils in some feed formulas only lasted for two weeks. Local people were involved at all the stages of the establishment of the experimental dispositive, making the research very participative. Such participatory approach allows for the integration of local knowledge into the planned methodology, while transmitting directly the experimented farming techniques to local communities. Though the results of this experiment indicate that the domestication of these edible larvae is possible, it is important to determine suitable conditions that favor the development of young maggots after the hatching of eggs. Considering the nutrient content of this insect larva, it is important to develop the gotten breeding, so that these larvae may effectively constitute a cheaper source of essential nutrients in Cameroon and in Sub-Saharan Africa at large.

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