Kenya is battling some of the worst locust plagues in decades, but start-up The Bug Picture hopes to transform the pests into profits and bring "hope to the hopeless" whose crops and livelihoods are being destroyed by the insects.
Left: A man carries a sack on his shoulder, filled with desert locusts that he harvested. Right: Desert locusts caught during a harvest are stored inside a sack.
The Bug Picture is working with communities around the area of Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu in central Kenya to harvest the insects and mill them, turning them into protein-rich animal feed and organic fertilizer for farms.
“We are trying to create hope in a hopeless situation, and help these communities alter their perspective to see these insects as a seasonal crop that can be harvested and sold for money," said Laura Stanford, founder of The Bug Picture.
Swarms can travel up to 150 km (93 miles) a day and can contain between 40-80 million locusts per square kilometre.
Left: Philip Ouma, a laboratory manager, tests the nutritional value of desert locusts at the laboratory Spectralab. Right: Ouma holds a dish containing grounded desert locusts.
The insects are crushed and dried, then milled and processed into powder, which is used in animal feed or an organic fertiliser.