Skip to content Skip to cookie consent
Skip to content


A tasty snack

The arrival of a seasonal delicacy causes excitement in Uganda

Andrew Osuta 2021

Fried crickets with onions in Uganda.

Fried crickets with onions in Uganda. Photo: Mariya Sukhoveyko/Shutterstock

Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo clean caterpillars harvested from the trees surrounding their village.

From: Insects – Footsteps 115

Why insects are important and how we can look after and benefit from them

November is the month to harvest, sell and celebrate nsenene, a type of bush cricket and Uganda’s favourite edible insect. This type of cricket – Ruspolia differens – has been consumed in Uganda for centuries.

The humid air of Uganda’s second rainy season causes swarms of nsenene to migrate across the region in search of food and mating partners. Hundreds of trappers take to the streets and fields, and there is a buzz of activity surrounding the capture, sale, preparation and consumption of this seasonal delicacy.

‘When November rains came, we knew the nsenene were also going to come. We used to rush into Arua to catch them because it was the only place with reliable electricity,’ recalls Flora, a 28-year-old harvester who spent a lot of time catching the insects by hand when she was a child.

Electricity has now arrived in Flora’s town and each November electric bulbs are attached to large iron panels. The light attracts the crickets, they hit the iron panels and then they fall into polythene sheets.

‘My best harvest was in November 2018 when I sold nsenene for 6 million shillings (USD 1,644),’ says Flora.

Women congregate near the fruit and vegetable markets and lay out green, brown and yellow nsenene on woven trays. They sell the insects in any quantity – even by the spoonful – so everyone can afford to have a taste of this delicious, nutritious snack. Children and women carry hoppers full of the insects on their heads, selling them to eager passers-by.

Most village savings groups register increased savings in November due to the processing and sale of the insect.

‘In nsenene, there is no loss!’ says Asiku, a local electrician often hired to wire up the bulbs at harvest time.

  Andrew Osuta

Andrew Osuta is a nutritionist with Action Against Hunger in Uganda.

Similarly Tagged Content

Share this resource

If you found this resource useful, please share it with others so they can benefit too.

Subscribe to Footsteps magazine

A free digital and print magazine for community development workers. Covering a diverse range of topics, it is published three times a year.

Sign up now - Subscribe to Footsteps magazine

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.