Kenya is battling some of the worst locust plagues in decades, but startup The Bug Picture hopes to transform the pests into profits and bring "hope to the hopeless" whose crops and livelihoods are being destroyed by the insects.
A man tries to chase away a swarm of desert locusts from a farm, near the town of Rumuruti, Kenya, Feb. 1, 2021.
The Bug Picture is working with communities around the area of Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu in central Kenya to harvest the insects and mill them, turning them into protein-rich animal feed and organic fertilizer for farms.
Albert Lemasulani, a field coordinator who works for the startup The Bug Picture, watches workers being paid after they harvested desert locusts.
The Bug Picture pays Mejia and his neighbors 50 Kenyan shillings ($0.4566) per kilogram of the insects. Between Feb. 1-18, the project oversaw the harvest of 1.3 tons of locusts, according to Stanford, who said she was inspired by a project in Pakistan, overseen by the state-run Pakistan Agricultural Research Council.
People load a pick-up truck with sacks filled with harvested desert locusts.
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