After the farmer exchange visit, where the participants of the Insect for Nutrition project (IFN) visited different cricket farms in Vientiane Capital province, they participated in a cricket farming training in their villages. The training was delivered by our local partners from Bolikhan District Agriculture and Forestry Office, who had been trained before by our team. Two students from the Faculty of Agriculture’s livestock department assisted in the training.
The training took place on the 16th and 17th of May in the 2 IFN project villages in Bolikhan district, Bolikhamxay province. In the first part, the participants learned about the life cycle of crickets, the rearing techniques at the different life cycle stages, and about the cage and its equipment. Due to the prior farmer exchange visit, the participants knew already a lot and were eager to show their knowledge, and actively contribute to the training.
In the 2nd part of the training, the participants constructed together with the trainers and the students 1 model cage. While the rough design and size of the cage was set by the project, the participants were free to find the best construction solution by themselves. There was a lot of discussion on which design would be the best! But, finally, the model cages in the 2 villages were constructed. In each village, the design was different, but the result were 2 excellent cricket production cages, which can serve the other participants as a guiding model.
In the final part of the training, the trainers showed how to burn rice husk and mix it with the right amount of water. In this rice husk mix, the crickets will lay their eggs. The correct preparation of the rice husk mix is crucial for the success of the coming production cycle. If the mix is too dry or too wet, the cricket eggs will be spoiled and a new generation of crickets will not hatch. As the trainers explained, an alternative to burned rice husk is saw dust.
After the training, all participants start the construction of their cricket cages, and will start their own farming by the end of this month.