the animal feed industry is a billiON-dollar market globally. The POULTRY secTOr is the biggest consumer of animal feed, with countries such as China, the United States of America (USA) and Brazil being the main producers. South Africa is the largest producer and consumer of animal feed on the African continent. Maize and soya bean are the major ingredients used in the feed industry, with broilers and layers as the main consumers of these products . Although fishmeal and soya bean are important sources of high-quality protein in poultry feeds, concerns about their costs and sustainability are making them less attractive feed materials. Replacing soya bean and fishmeal with insects in poultry diets is a practice that is gaining momentum. This is because insects are not only a good source of protein; they also have a low initial investment requirement; therefore, their use in poultry diets could benefit commercial as well as smallholder farmers from low-income countries.
When included in poultry diets, edible insects have the potential to simplify issues related to food security in developing countries. Over the years, there has been much debate on food security. However, there is a lack of consensus on how to establish which countries are in need of improved food security status. Food insecurity is caused by inadequate food production; therefore, global warming and climate change are considered a threat to food production and agriculture. In developing countries such as Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand edible insects are providing livelihood opportunities such as income and employment for a household that is food insecure. In South Africa, it has been reported that 28.3% of households are at risk of food insecurity, while 26% are food insecure.
Furthermore, the general household survey reported that 10.6% of adults and 12.2% of children in South Africa were always or sometimes hungry. This is a concern because one of the sustainable development goals of the United Nations is to improve and ACHIEVE food security. Innovative changes in food production are needed to address the food insecurity challenges that are facing the rapidly growing human population. Therefore, households should be educated to consume more diverse and NUTRITIONally adequate foods. Yellow mealworms or edible insects in general, on their own without other ingredients do not guarantee food security for a household, however, their inclusion could play a role on household food security composite indicator as sources of average supply of protein of animal origin.