Save a forest by fighting protein deficiency

Sep 19, 2013

Mushrooms, yummy insects and cash!

SEPALI Madagascar
SEPALI Madagascar's women's workshop

Straight from Madagascar - Mamy Ratsimbazafy, CPALI local director and SEPALI Madagascar's founder, reports in on project success.

1-   News about the new moth species “ Ceranchia apollina”:
A lot has happened in the SEPALIM program during the latest 3 months. After the discovery of the host plant for our new target species moth “ Ceranchia apollina”, SEPALIM team has decided to start the design creation using the Ceranchia  cocoons. At the same time, the team has planted the host plant seedling at the new demonstration site with great success. At least 15 women have been invited to make textile out of Ceranchia cocoons in June – July.  Twenty two meter squares of both A. suraka and Ceranchia silk textiles have been shipped to the US in July to be sold as well as for design research purpose. Making textile remains as the favourite activities according to the women.

Intercropping the host plant tress with legumes, vegetable and Mushrooms:
Every single step of the wild silk rearing has been exploited by the Sepalim team to bring benefit to the community breeders. Silkworm pupae are rich in protein and will provide a new food resource for farmers in the future. The larvae poop, (everybody poops) which we already know as a good fertilizer for vegetable garden. In that case, Sepalim has decided to combine the wild silk rearing with legumes and vegetable farming program through intercropping the host plant trees with new kinds of legumes and vegetable that no one in the Maroantsetra area has planted before. To do so, Sepalim distributes seeds to all breeders that have larvae on their host plant trees.At this time, we are doing experiments of both legumes and vegetable farming. The goal of the experiment is to master the technical farming methods of each crop as well as to learn the best way to get profit from doing a green composting.

One of the Sepalim good news in the latest three months also is the discovery of two species of edible mushrooms ( Judas ear mushroom, Auricularia and white mushroom, lentinus) growing on the brunches of the Talandoha ( A. suraka host plant). Sepalim will improve its research on growing mushroom on the host plant dead brunches in order to combat the malnutrition threat in the community.

Pupae-for-food to combat the malnutrition:
Insect pupae are eaten worldwide and known as a delicious food. Unfortunately, insect consumption is not popular in Madagascar. The pupae is rich in protein and probably the future protein source for Malagasy. That is why we have decided to introduce the pupae-for-food program to the community. Many researches have been done locally to cook a delicious meal of pupae. 

The pupae of  the SATURNIDAE might be a good protein recourses for people in the poor country such as ours. The size of the pupae is big and only 50 pupae for every meal is enough for one adult person. After trying to eat the pupae combining with spices, we can witness that is very delicious meal to eat with our emblematic food “ Rice”.

Only, we suggested to harvest only the young pupae because the old pupae tastes bitter.

Thank you for your continued support!

Two new textiles plus our traditional
Two new textiles plus our traditional
Experimental gardens - stay tuned
Experimental gardens - stay tuned
Yummy insects for lunch!
Yummy insects for lunch!
High nutrition, high satisfaction
High nutrition, high satisfaction



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Project Leader

Kerry O'Neill

Assistant director
Lincoln, Massachusetts United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Save a forest by fighting protein deficiency