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.

Insect/animal Energy (kcal)  Protein (g)  Carbohydrate (g)  Calcium (mg)  Iron (mg) 
Palm Weevil   478.84 21.06 7.63 54.1 30.8
Beef (boiled)  218 27.6 0 11.4 3.5
Fish (boiled)  130 19.2 0 108.5 0.6
Egg (boiled)  143 12.5 0.3 57 2.5

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 requires 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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