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Kazakhstan intends to process and export locusts

Kazakhstan intends to process and export locusts
Фото: El.kz/Yerbol Bekbolat/Midjourney 20.06.2024 14:01 618

Kazakhstan intends to organize work on processing locusts, and also begin shipping them for export. The Kazakh Research Institute of Plant Protection and Quarantine, together with colleagues from Germany, conducted research on the collection and paralysis of locusts using special devices. This work, scientists believe, will be the beginning of a solution to the large-scale “locust problem” in Kazakhstan, El.kz reports citing APK news.
 
“Currently, according to the UN, more than 2 billion people in the world eat locusts as food: in Africa (Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa), South America (Mexico, Guatemala, Belize), Asia, some Islamic countries (Thailand, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc.). The potential in Western countries has not yet been tapped. But in Europe there are already enterprises for processing locusts; in the Netherlands, grants are allocated for the development of research and the introduction of enterprises for the production of insect products,” Chairman of the National Agrarian Scientific and Educational Center, agro-industrial complex expert Baurzhan Kasenov told the APK News agency.
 
The safety of consuming locusts as food is confirmed by a study by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Moreover, it is an essential protein and also contains fats and microelements.
 
The FAO estimates that by 2050 the world's population will exceed 9.1 billion.
 
“Given the large number of people in the world consuming locusts as food today, potential markets for locusts as a food product are opening up. For example, the crustaceans Artemia Salina are currently being harvested in Kazakhstan - planktonic organisms that live in shallow seas and salt lakes, which are rich in protein and are in great demand as fish food, are a valuable raw material in cosmetology, and the production of dietary supplements . The crustaceans are mined in Kazakhstan and exported to China and Russia,” said Baurzhan Kasenov.
 
The edible insect market in the US, Belgium, France, UK, Vietnam, Brazil and Mexico was valued at $33 million in 2015 and $142 million in South Korea in 2017. Thailand imports $1.14 million worth of edible insects annually, including locusts. Consumers in Thailand highly value locusts, priced at $7–11 per kg, in contrast to regular meat, which costs $0.8–3 per kg. By 2026, the projected global market for edible insects, which is not divided between wild-collected and farmed, is expected to exceed $1.5 billion.
 
“In world practice, research is currently being conducted in the direction of not destroying such a massive and valuable resource as locusts and at the same time preserving the environment. Methods for catching and further use are proposed. For example, in Russia, the Bioenergiya and K enterprise in the city of Korkino, together with the South Ural State Agrarian University, has developed a set of mechanisms that make it possible to collect locusts from the ground at high speed and extremely inexpensively and process them into protein meal for feeding farm animals and poultry,” - noted B. Kasenov.
 
Locusts are collected over a period of 2-3 weeks, until they take wing. Similar studies are being conducted in Stavropol, Chelyabinsk, Kalmykia and other regions of Russia. Uzbekistan is proposing a method to paralyze locusts using electrical impulses from drones. The locusts killed in this way are then used as fish food. A device has been invented in Kenya to process desert locusts into organic fertilizer.
 
“Taking into account the above, it is advisable to use advanced methods of catching locusts for their further export abroad, as well as to establish cooperation with FAO in terms of conducting research on locust control,” says the head of the National Scientific and Cultural Center.
 
For example, in 2023, Uzbekistan conducted demonstration tests of biopesticides against locusts in the Jizzakh region with the assistance of FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture of Uzbekistan, which were successful.
 
It is also worth noting that in Kazakhstan, the Research Institute of Plant Protection and Quarantine has certain skills in the field of collecting locusts in natural stations.
 
“The Institute, together with German scientists, conducted research on collecting and paralyzing locusts using special devices and electrical discharges. If there is government support, the organization will carry out developments in this direction, which will help both solve the “locust problem” and supply Kazakhstan’s agricultural producers with a high-quality and mass source of protein,” said B. Kasenov.
 
The NANOC reported that they do not offer Kazakhstanis to eat locusts, we have enough of our own products, but it is proposed to start processing and exporting locusts to Thailand and a number of other countries.

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