Smallholder farmers’ intention to use insect-based feed in dairy cattle diet in Kenya

Peer Reviewed
1 October 2022

Diana Wanda Odinya, Josiah Mwangi Ateka, Robert Matwetwe Mbeche, Mathew Gitau Gicheha

Limited access to good quality, adequate and affordable livestock feed impose a major challenge to livestock production in developing countries. In order to improve access to good quality and adequate livestock feed, policymakers, practitioners, and researchers are promoting the utilization of alternative feed sources. While insects have been promoted as an alternative source of protein, their production and utilization is low across smallholder livestock systems in sub-Saharan Africa. This study assessed smallholder farmers’ intention to use insect-based feed to supplement dairy cattle diets in Murang’a County in Kenya. The study employed the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and collected data from a random sample of 378 dairy farming households. A heteroscedastic probit (hetprobit) regression model was used to assess determinants of smallholder dairy farmers’ intention to use insect-based feed. Findings show that while only a small proportion of dairy farmers (11%) were aware of the use of insects as an alternative source of livestock feed, a considerable proportion (76%) were willing to use insect-based feed when they become available. The results of the hetprobit model revealed that the three TPB constructs; attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control positively and significantly determined the likelihood of farmers’ intentions to use insect-based feed. Of the three constructs, attitude had the highest influence on the farmers’ intention to utilise insect-based feed, followed by perceived behavioural control and subjective norms. While age of the farmer, flock size, access to extension services and wealth status were positively associated with farmers’ intention to use insect-based feed, gender (being a male-headed household) of the farmer and farming experience had a negative influence on the likelihood of farmers’ intention. The study discusses the implications of these findings in scaling up the production and utilization of sustainable alternative protein feed sources.

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Publication reference
Odinya, D. W., Ateka, J. M., Mbeche, R. M., & Gicheha, M. G. (2022). Smallholder farmers’ intention to use insect-based feed in dairy cattle diet in Kenya. International Journal of Tropical Insect Science, 42(6), 3695–3711.
Publication | 5 December 2022