Michael Kazadi is a ambitious 19 year old set on creating a commercial business out of harvesting and selling crickets in the DRC and beyond.

A student at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, he’s focused his efforts on researching how to harvest the insect efficiently. Crickets are definitely popular: they are eaten by ‘70% of Kinshasa’s 10 million inhabitants, and by two-thirds of the DRC’s 70 million inhabitants.’ The potential to become a successful commercial business with the right model is clear.

The project will run for two years starting in December 2015 and draw on international knowledge from American researchers. It will also be run in collaboration with Congolese research institute ISAV and facilitated by the Food and Agriculture Organization office in Kinshasa.

Michael believes it could be a good thing for everyone; ‘rearing the cricket can be a means to reduce poverty. If crickets are reared intensively, its current gatherers will start supplying farmers with plants to feed the crickets. This will enable them to obtain a stable income’. They currently do not have that due to the sporadic nature of harvesting.

Michael will be talking with TRUE Africa’s Editor-in-Chief Claude Grunitzky, as part of pan African magazine Chimurenga‘s residency at the Fondation Cartier in Paris.

Listen in on September 18 at 20:00H (GMT+2) on

He’s raising funds for the project on Indiegogo now. If you’re interested in learning more see it here