Use of Termites by Farmers as Poultry Feed in Ghana

Insects. 2019 Mar 13;10(3):69. doi: 10.3390/insects10030069.


The aim of the study was to gather information on the use of termites by farmers as feed for indigenous poultry in Ghana and factors affecting its use. We conducted surveys in four regions in Ghana to collect information, by the administration of questionnaires, on the use of termites as poultry feed, termite species collected, species not used and collection methods. Samples of termite species mentioned were collected and identified to the genus level. Twenty-three percent and 19% of farmers mentioned that termites are always or often used to feed poultry whereas 11% never use termites. A binomial regression analysis showed that their utilization was affected by region, sex, education, farm size and income. Termites collected belonged to eight genera, the main ones being Macrotermes, Trinervitermes and Odontotermes. Five collection methods are used to obtain termites and involve either breaking mounds or using containers as traps. Collection methods vary with species and region and the abundance of termite genera varies with season. Farmers identified some species as poisonous to poultry. Termites are important in indigenous poultry production because they are a readily available protein source for local farmers. However, better collection methods need to be developed to aid their optimal use.

Keywords: Ghana; Macrotermes; Odontotermes; Trinervitermes; poultry feed; termites.