Following the Training of Trainers (ToT) of our local partners from Bolikhamxay province, 20 project participants of our Insect for Nutrition (IFN) project visited other crickets farmers in Vientiane Capital province as part of their training on cricket farming. Former experiences showed us that farmers learn best from other farmers – this was proven again during this exchange visit!
After arriving from Bolikhamxay on May 9th, the IFN participants visited 16 cricket farmers in Xaythany district, which have been running small backyard cricket farms with the support of VWB since 2014. The IFN guests were very excited to see the farms – none of them had seen a real cricket farm before. And as they will start soon farming their own crickets, they eagerly inspected the cages, the equipment, and the crickets, and had many questions to ask about cage construction, rearing, feeding and harvesting practices. And, as can be seen in the photos, our cricket farmers really enjoyed being in the centre of attention and to share their knowledge and experiences with the guests!
After this, we visited another cricket farm, which is located in the immediate vicinity of the Vientiane, and close to insect trading markets. From this farm, VWB had purchased the last batch of cricket eggs to restart the cricket production of the 16 cricket farmers from Xaythany district after the cold season. This farm operated on a little bit bigger scale with 6 cages and a total production output of nearly 100kg per production cycle. Here the IFN participants, had the opportunity to observe a slightly different farming system, which made use of 2-story cages.
Finally, we closed off the visit with a small sightseeing tour to the Patuxay monument in Vientiane. For some participants it was the first time to the capital city!
The exchange visit was an excellent and exciting learning opportunity for all! Not only the IFN participants were able to get more insights into cricket farming, but also our local partners, who have joined the ToT, and will conduct the cricket farming training in Bolikhamxay, agreed that is was a great experience for them!