Declining insect numbers are hurting food production

Kenyan researchers and entomologists have called for the introduction of stringent regulations on the use of pesticide to protect insect species that are crucial for food production.

In a report, named ‘Insect Atlas 2020’ by Heinrich Böll Foundation and Friends of the Earth, it was made clear that around 1.4 billion insects are currently facing massive threats from human activity such as the use of pesticide, resulting in their decline.

According to the report, intensive farming, mono-cropping and over-reliance on pesticide poses one of the biggest challenges to insects and as a result, both their diversity and their numbers are declining, especially in agricultural areas, threatening food security.

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Entomologist and lecturer at Egerton University Dr. Faith Toroitich said ecosystems and humanity largely depend on insects for quality and quantity of food production: “We cannot talk about food security without highlighting the role insects play in agriculture and food production. Insects’ role in of food, silk, medicine, maintaining soil fertility, seed dispersal, and decomposing dead plant and animal materials, are just some of the reasons why we need insects.”


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