Small-scale processing and value-addition of Ruspolia nitidula for improved livelihoods in Central Uganda
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The study on small-scale processing and value-addition of Ruspolia. nitidula (Nsenene grasshoppers) for improved livelihoods: a case of small and medium enterprise development in central Uganda was carried out in Kampala (Central Division-Nakasero parish and Lubaga Division-Kasubi parish) and Masaka (Kimanya/Kyabakuza Division-Kyabakuza parish and, Nyendo/Ssenyagge Division- Nyendo parish) districts. The major objective of the study was to explore the small-scale processing and value-addition of Ruspolia. nitidula for improved livelihoods among the small and medium enterprise developers while the specific objectives were to establish the knowledge attitude and practices related to harvesting, preparation, trading and consumption of R. nitidula, evaluate effects of local processing methods on quality and acceptability of traded R. nitidula and establish the profitability of trading in R. nitidula. Cross-sectional research design with help of a questionnaire, key informants interview and focused group discussions were used to collect data. Simple random sampling was used to select study divisions, parishes and respondents. A total of 120 respondents were drawn for the study. Data was analyzed descriptively and inferentially. SPSS, MINTAB 14 and Excel 2003 Spreadsheet analysed data from questionnaire, FGDs (frame work analysis), key informant’s interview (themes and flowchart visual display format) were used for analysis. Holland R (1998) formula was used to compute Nsenene Mark-Up and Gross Margin percentages. The findings showered that 71% of respondents were male who mostly (40%) attained secondary education and there was a relationship between education of the respondents and the level of involvement in value chain activities (X2 = 42.95, P = 0.000). Being a male, singnifactly influenced one’s involvement in value chain activities (X2 = 156.4, P = 0.000). Gathering, processing and trading was found to be night, mooning and afternoon activities respectively. Nsenene seasonal calendar of gathering (April-May and November-December), processing (April-May and November-December) and trading (all year round in Kampala and for Masaka it ranged from April-June and November-January) was generated. Three (use of bright electric lights, hand picking and shaking/beating the tree canopies) main gathering techniques were documented. Peoples’ attitude on consumption was positive and believed that Nsenene are nutritious and very tasty. Only 10% of respondent had a negative (cultural taboos and the simplistic thought that grasshoppers are insects) feeling on Nsenene consumption. Three techniques of processing Nsenene were documented as deep frying and air drying, pan frying Nsenene with without cooking oil and boiling and sun drying. Each processing method had a significant effect on resultant quality (aroma, taste, shelf life and colour) of the prepared products (X2= 70.479, P = 0.000). Nsenene business was found profitable with mark-up percentage of 35.9% and the gross margin percentage of 26.4%. Trading in town/urban market location significantly influenced high returns on sale of Nsenene (X2 = 96.243, P = 0.000). Labour availability, income generation and increasing customers were reported opportunities. Low shelf-life and seasonal emergency challenges were reported. The study recommends research on value addition, multiplication and nutritional potential of Nsenene to increase consumption.