Tourism and Farming of popular insects: training at ZEFS
Numerical dominance of insects in almost all ecosystems equally means similar importance of the group, both as beneficial or harmful insects. The Department has qualified persons to train students, organizations and individuals on the different aspects of insect science, that directly contribute to a number of critical national and international agenda, e.g. food security, livelihood improvement, industrialization and sustainable environmental resource utilization.
Tourism is a major earner for Uganda’s economy and yet a large part of the tourism potential especially from the insect world is largely unexplored. ZEF is up-scaling insect tourism through training of individuals who act as tour guides and excursion leaders who can rightly name the different insect groups. The socio-economic benefits of the human-insect encounter in a variety of leisure settings through Insect-based attractions create interest, awareness and socio-economic and environmental benefits for the host communities and the visitors alike. There is a growing popularity of insect festivals (e.g. butterflies in weddings, live exhibitions) that generate educational and economic capital. Every year, a number of field excursions are held in different parts of Uganda for the local and international tourists. Popular amongst the insect tourism are the ‘ButterMoth’ hunters majorly for butterflies and moths, and the Odotours- a recently set up excursions for Odonata (Dragonflies). Millions of dollars are raised globally from insect tourism alone from direct and indirect employment for local communities.