EVALUATION OF CONSUMERS ACCEPTANCE AND PRICING OF EDIBLE WINGED TERMITES (Macrotermes Subhylanus) IN KIMILILI SUB- COUNTY, KENYA

ABSTRACT
The food poverty rate stands at 42 percent in Bungoma County; Kimilili Sub-County included. The available animal-based protein sources are insufficient, unsustainable and expensive for the unemployed poor locals. Commercializing the edible insects’ particularly edible winged termite value chain has the potential of improving this situation. The termite value chain is transforming from subsistent to commercial. However, important information to support its commercialization is scanty. The general objective of this study was to contribute to enhanced commercialization of edible winged termite value chain as a way of diversifying food systems for improved livelihood. Specific objectives of the study were to; determine the consumers’ perception of edible winged termites; consumers socioeconomic, institutional and edible winged termite characteristics significantly influencing its acceptance and quantity consumed and finally to evaluate the significant market price determinants of edible winged termites. The study followed an exploratory research design. Multistage sampling procedure was used to select 384 consumers who were interviewed using a pre- tested semi-structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed using Exploratory Factor Analysis, Double Hurdle and Hedonic Pricing models. Results indicate that consumers perceived edible winged termites as food with important attributes, convenient, and culturally appropriate with explained variances of 56%, 5% and 5%respectively. Acceptance and quantity of edible winged termites consumed were influenced by: gender, education, children below 5 years, income, native, termite attributes and convenience in rural and urban households; members over 5 years and culture in the rural; and age in the urban. Consumers’ participation in off- farm activities and location of residence had positive effects on market prices of raw, fried, sun-dried and blanched termites. This study concludes that: consumers perceived edible winged termites positively; perceived edible winged termite attributes is the major acceptance and quantity consumed determinant and residence is the major market price determinant for raw, fried, sun-dried, and blanched with positive coefficients of 0.55, 0.57, 0.56 and 0.45 respectively. This study recommends that edible insect commercialization can start with edible winged termites; formal education officials can be used to engender edible insects in to the food chain through the school feeding programmes; marketers should target consumers residing in urban areas and those participating in off-farm income generating activities for higher profits.

CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTION 
Introduction 
This chapter gives the background of the study, statement of the problem and the objectives in sections 2, 3, and 4 respectively. The research questions and justification of the study are presented in sections 5 and 6 respectively. Section 7 gives the scope and limitation of the study and operational definition of terms are presented in the last section. 

Background of the Study 
Developing countries Kenya included are faced with increased population growth and urbanization resulting in high demand for food, especially animal-based protein (FAO, 2013). The dilemma is how to sustainably meet the rising demand for animal-based protein in the face of climate change, environmental degradation as well as land and water scarcity (Lensvelt and Steenbekkers, 2014). The popular current animal-based protein sources are milk, meat and eggs whose supply is insufficient, unsustainable and relatively expensive (GoK, 2013). Entomophagy, the collection and consumption of insects as food could be a possible solution for developing economies Kenya included with several advantages (Alemu et al., 2015). Edible insects are nutritious, always available and have a lesser ecological footprint (FAO, 2013). Edible winged termites (EWT) are one of the edible insects commonly consumed in Western Kenya (Ayieko, 2013). The edible insect value chain has long been subsistent but it is transforming to commercial among consumers in Western Kenya particularly in Kimilili Sub-County. 

The collection and consumption of insects by humans has long been known and dates back to prehistory (Van Itterbeeck and Van Huis, 2012; Anankware et al., 2013) and according to Yi et al. (2010), insects were consumed in China 3,200 years ago. Attitudes towards entomophagy are determined by cultural and health issues (Van Huis et al., 2013). People eat insects out of choice, because of their palatability and established place in local food cultures in many regional and national diets (FAO/WUR, 2012). Currently, over 2,000 insect species are consumed (Jongema, 2014). Van Huis et al. (2013) noted that different insect species are consumed at different stages of their life cycle. Anankware et al. (2013) reported a number of edible insect species in Africa, Asia, America and Australia, with South Africa, Southeast Asia and North America having the highest registers. In Africa, insects are collected in the wild to feed pigs and poultry on farm (Kenis and Hein, 2014; Riggi et al., 2014). 

The most commonly consumed insects are beetles (Coleoptera) (31%), caterpillars (Lepidoptera) (18%), bees, wasps and ants (Hymenoptera) (14%), grasshoppers, locusts and crickets (Orthoptera) (13%), cicadas, leafhoppers, plant hoppers, scale insects and true bugs (Hemiptera) (10%), termites (Isoptera) (3%), dragonflies (Odonata) (3%), flies (Diptera) (2 %) and other orders (5%) (FAO, 2013; Van Huis et al., 2013). More than 2.5 billion people in Africa and Asia eat insects as a common dietary habit and their collection and sale is an income generating activity for many women and youth in rural areas (FAO, 2010). 

Insects comprise 70-95% of all animal species (Chapman, 2009), over one million species have been described and there could be a total of more than six million (Hamilton et al., 2010). Insects reproduce quickly, are less water and land dependent, emit less greenhouse gases (Van Huis et al., 2013) and can feed on bio wastes which are easily converted to high quality protein used for animal feed (Yen, 2012; FAO, 2013). They provide proteins (amino acids such as methionine, lysine, and threonine), carbohydrate, fats, minerals (calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorous), some essential vitamins vitamin A, B complex, and C (Johnson, 2010; Xiaoming et al., 2010). Insects are rich in proteins, fibre, micronutrients and fatty acids thus an important food supplement for undernourished children and people living with HIV/AIDS (Kinyuru et al., 2009; Ayieko et al ., 2010). They pose a low risk of transmitting zoonotic diseases, their harvesting provide entrepreneurship opportunities (Ayieko et al., 2011) and worldwide, insect gathering and rearing is an important livelihood diversification strategy for developed, transitional and developing economies (FAO, 2013). 

In Kenya, winged termites, grasshoppers, locusts, lake flies and crickets have been embraced as part of traditional diet among rural communities (Ayieko et al., 2010). These edible insects have received a major boost after the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) recommended them as a way of addressing food insecurity in developing nations (Ayieko et al., 2011). The most seasonally collected edible insect in Western Kenya is the winged termite and like other insects, it is a good source of protein with high fat content (and thus energy) and many important minerals and vitamins (Pambo et al., 2016). The most commonly eaten termite species are the large termites (Macrotermes subhylanus) known as 

Agoro in Luo and Chiswa in Luhya that emerge after the first rains fall at the end of the dry season, from holes near termite nests (Ayieko et al., 2010). 

Termites are consumed raw, blanched, fried in own fat or sun-dried and surplus sold in any of the fore mentioned forms for cash (Ayieko et al., 2010). Even the landless can collect and sell the termites to increase their household income as collections from other peoples land are not prohibited (Ayieko et al., 2011). Furthermore, the nuptial flights can be collected very much far away from where they emerge using a light source and an open bucket half filled with water. Generally, the termite business has the potential of improving food security and household income of vulnerable groups specifically women, children, the poor, the landless and people living with HIV/AIDS. 

Statement of the Problem 
The food poverty rate stands at 42 percent in Bungoma County; Kimilili Sub-County included (GOK, 2013). The Sub-County residents mainly depend on milk and eggs for animal-based protein supply. However, these sources are insufficient, unsustainable and expensive for the unemployed poor locals who are the majority in Kimilili Sub-County. These reasons have made access to sufficient and sustainable animal-based proteins by most households difficult leading to malnutrition. Promoting the use of edible insects as an animal- based protein source is a sustainable solution (FAO, 2013). Edible winged termites are harvested and consumed by residents of Kimilili Sub-County. Commercializing the edible winged termite value chain has the potential of improving this situation. The termite value chain is transforming from subsistent to commercial. However, information on the consumers’ perception of it, the factors influencing its acceptance and quantity consumed is scanty. Furthermore, the significant determinants of its market prices are unexplored. This information is important for commercialization of the termite value chain. 

Objectives 
1.4.1 General Objective 
To contribute to enhanced commercialization of edible winged termite value chain as a way of diversifying food systems for improved livelihood. 

Specific Objectives 
i. To determine the consumers’ perception of edible winged termites in Kimilili Sub- County. 
ii. To determine the socioeconomic, institutional factors and termite characteristics significantly influencing consumers’ acceptance and quantity consumed of edible winged termites in Kimilili Sub-County. 
iii. To evaluate the significant market price determinants of edible winged termites in Kimilili Sub-County. 

Research Questions 
i. How do consumers in Kimilili Sub-County perceive edible winged termites? 
ii. What are the socioeconomic, institutional factors and termites’ characteristics that significantly influence acceptance and quantity consumed of edible winged termites by Kimilili Sub-County consumers? 
iii. What are the significant market price determinants of edible winged termites Kimilili Sub-County? 

Justification of the Study 
The food poverty rate in Bungoma County stands at 42 percent, due to overdependence on rain fed agriculture that has been adversely affected by climate change (GOK, 2013). Among the development strategies put forward to address the problem are: food crop diversification, on-farm value addition, expansion of small livestock commercialization projects to enhance food security and increase farmers’ incomes. Termite commercialization could be one way of diversifying food systems in Bungoma County. Termites harvesting is done during dry and rainy months; their value addition techniques are simple mainly on farm and an income generating activity. 

Termites’ commercialization could contribute to the achievement of National Food and Nutritional Security Policy (NFNSP) objective of achieving good nutrition for optimum health through; increasing the quantity and quality of food available that is affordable to consumers (GoK, 2011). Commercialization of termites will also help the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number two that by 2030, it should end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food (GoK, 2007). Furthermore, while assessing the potential of edible insects as food and feed, Van Huis (2013) and Rumpold and Schlüter (2013) emphasized the necessity of consumers’ acceptance and willingness to pay studies regarding edible insects as food. 

The findings from this study contribute to knowledge about consumers that is important for intense commercialization of the termite value chain and agribusiness development. The study provides important information on increasing entomophagy thus responding to FAO and WHO call of increasing entomophagy as a way of addressing food insecurity challenge. It has made recommendations that when implemented will make the business more attractive and paying to the actors who are the vulnerable in society. Furthermore, findings from this study inform policy makers on designing and implementing policies on insect commercialization as food and feed in the Country. 

Scope and Limitation of the Study 
This study was carried out in Kimilili Township and Nabikoto sub-locations of Kimilili and Kamukuywa wards respectively both from Kimilili Sub-County, Bungoma County, Kenya. The study focused on edible winged termites. It aimed at finding out the consumers’ perception of the edible winged termites, factors significantly influencing acceptance and quantity consumed of edible winged termites and the significant market price determinants of edible winged termites. The limitation encountered was lack of standard measurement units for edible winged termite quantity. However, this was solved by weighing the different units used in the rural and urban areas, taking the average weight and converting it to the international standard (SI) units that is Kilograms which are reported. 

Operational Definition of Terms 
Entomophagy –The collection and consumption of insects by human beings as food. 

Food poverty- The inability of an individual or household to obtain healthy, nutritious food or to access the food they would like to eat. 

Food security-situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. 

Hedonic price- The change in edible winged termites’ price resulting from the marginal change in one of its attributes or characteristics. 

Household-A social unit composed of people living together in the same compound and have same cooking arrangements, and are answerable to the same household head. 

Insect-a class of invertebrates within the arthropod phylum that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae. 

Livelihood diversification-The process by which rural families construct a diverse portfolio of activities and social support capabilities in order to survive and to improve their standards of living. 

Perception-It is one’s own special way of seeing or viewing things (products). Urban- Households within market centres in the peri-urban area (Kimilili Township Sub- Location).

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Item Type: Kenyan Postgraduate Material  |  Attribute: 84 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: KSh900  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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