Cricket Farmers Demonstrate their Progress

HELVETAS Visits Cricket Farmers
VWB’s 16 female cricket farmers in Xaythany District were happy to receive a guest from HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Ms. Elizabeth Vochten, who is Technical Advisor to the “Integrated Upland Development” project in Laos’ Northern province of Xiangkhouang. As cricket farming is one of the project’s livelihoods activities, Elizabeth came to learn from our cricket farmers about their rearing techniques and also share her experiences with them.
The cricket farmers welcomed Elizabeth together with Thomas (VWB) in their village office, where a very lively discussion followed. The women told Elizabeth how they farm their crickets, how they eat them, and also about the cricket-based products, which they had developed in cooperation with the Faculty of Agriculture. When they reported about difficulties to access markets to sell their produce, Elizabeth encouraged them to use their strength as a producer group in actively finding sales opportunities. She told the farmers how a weaving group in Xiangkhouang has successfully managed to sell their products in Vientiane, which is a 20-hour trip away from their home village.

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Elizabeth and Thomas discuss with cricket farmers in their village office

 Following the discussion in the village office, the cricket farmers were proud to show Elizabeth their cricket cages.
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 Cricket farmers show their cages
In one of the cages, we discovered that a lizard had sneaked in. After a few seconds, the cricket farmer skilfully caught the unwanted visitor. Judging by the big belly, the lizard had a giant feast on the crickets.
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 Cricket farmer catches lizard in cage
After having seen the cricket cages, Elizabeth asked the women whether they would be interested to participate in a farmer-to-farmer exchange visit, meet the cricket farmers in Xiangkhouang, share their experiences with them and also show them how to produce cricket chili paste and cricket chips.Despite the long journey, which they would have to take, the women immediately agreed and were very excited about this opportunity to visit another part of the country and share their knowledge. We will keep you posted when this visit will happen!