Tanzanian Lusius Kawogo makes Millions from Farming Cockroaches for Food

“People thought I was mad when I started farming cockroaches and now it earns me a good living,” said Lusius Kawogo, the Tanzanian cockroach farmer, in an interview with BBC Swahili on how he has made a fortune from his business.

Approximately 20,000 insect species are consumed by countries in Asia, Latin America, and even parts of Africa. Some species of insects such as caterpillars, grasshoppers, and fleas are comsumed in Tanzania but beetles although are a rarity.

However, Lucius a carpenter who turned to beetle breeding because he believes it is the key to his current success. In the term of this business, he has built a beautiful and modern family house, as well as enhancing his quality of life.

The cockroaches are bred in cardboard moulds that look like egg boxes

Listen to Lusius interview with BBC Swahili here

Last month, a story about prominent Tanzanian singer and model Saumu Hamisi’s love of healthy cockroaches went viral, sparking up Lusius’ fame as well this month.

Her stage name is Ummy Doll, a 20-year-old girl from the coastal region of Kigamboni Daresalam, Tanzania. She told BBC Swahili that the insects tasted like fish or white flesh, and that she roasted, kebabbed, or fried them with coconut oil.

Ummy Doll

Both Ummy Dolly and Lusius have attested to having customers from outside Tanzania, explaining how lucrative the business has grown. However, Lusius stated that most Tanzanians have yet to accept this form of farming.

“I wish we had several people interested in farming cockroaches as we would be able to supply in large quantities.”

Read Also: First Science & Technology Newspaper written in Swahili Language Launched in Tanzania

Are cockroaches healthy for consumption at all?

Cockroaches have a lot of nutritional value, according to a specialist at Dar es Salaam’s Muhimbili National Hospital.

“Cockroaches are high in proteins, fat, vitamin B12 and zinc, which help with building immunity,” nutritionist Scolastica Mlinga told BBC Swahili.

According to Wikipedia magazine, the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries in Asia are the primary importers of insects. Beetles, like other insects, are an affordable source of protein and are advised as a meat substitute.

Cosmetic firms value quality in the same way as beetle wings value cellulose. The insects are simple to cultivate and profitable, according to beetle growers.

The publication further states that it has been scientifically verified that beetles are healthy to consume and have a high protein content. However, in order to kill the microorganisms in his body, he must be thoroughly cooked. Perhaps this is still a peculiar issue in Western societies.

However, many cultures, particularly those in Asia, include beetles in their meals along with other insects. In Thailand, beetles are considered a tasty food, especially when fried in oil for texture and flavor. Even in Africa, certain insect species are marketed as regular food in markets.

Source: BBC Swahili

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