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Sustainable feeding of indigenous communities of the Ecuadorian highlands and Amazon from the production of native beetles

Ecuadorian indigenous communities that generate protein-rich foods that minimize greenhouse-producing practices

Photo of Fundacion Progressio
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Fundation Progressio

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small NGO (under 50 employees)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

In the process of development

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Just beginning now

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Sierra: Pichincha, Quito, Pintag, Antisana Wildlife Reserve Amazon: Napo, El Chaco, El Cahco, Cayambe Coca National Park

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

In both cases, they are beneficiaries of the Indigenous Communities project of the Ecuadorian highlands and Amazonia, which consume beetles in a traditional way during the times of natural production in certain periods of the year.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Pintag: It is an agricultural and livestock town, located 27.5 km south east of Quito, near the valley of the Chillos, is located at 2829 meters above sea level, with a moor climate, that is, it varies between 7 to 16 degrees Celsius ; constituted by a population of 16,000 inhabitants, mostly indigenous. El Chaco: It is the third most populous city in the province of Napo with 7900 inhabitants, it is located north of the same province, it is a livestock and poultry area mostly, with an altitude of 1800 meters above sea level, the temperature varies from 14 at 28 degrees Celsius, it is located on the road that connects the provinces of Pichincha and Napo called Quito - Lago Agrio.

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Currently, foods that provide animal protein become more expensive in their production processes, which is why they are increasingly inaccessible to the indigenous populations of the Ecuadorian highlands and Amazonia. In this sense, it is proposed that in a projection to 2050, the protein resulting from the production of beetles, replace the protein from beef, poultry and pork, substantially improving the food conditions of these communities and in turn creating new options Working in a sustainable and sustainable way, objectively supporting the improvement of living conditions and reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

In order to start the process, the research and production farms must be established, in order to establish the conditions for the reproduction of beetles in volumes that allow their sustainability and sustainability, and be able to replicate them in the beneficiary communities. Support in the constitution of production and commercialization networks, within the intervention zone, as well as the possibility of export and sale in other locations. It is necessary to indicate that the consumption of beetles in these localities, is done in an ancestral way, in certain periods of the year where they appear naturally, but this project aims to generate the production of these animals throughout the year, which allows have a permanent food support. It is intended to generate surpluses that can be marketed as final products outside these locations.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

By improving the food and economic conditions of the population, it will be reflected in the improvement of living conditions, improving access to education, health and housing services, allowing not only economic development, but the social development of these communities, maintaining ancestral food traditions, substantially reducing the emission of greenhouse gases from livestock production, thus reducing the agricultural frontier in the areas of influence of protected areas.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

By implementing this project, we are sure that we can adequately address the six interconnected issues such as: Environment, Diet, Economy, Culture, Technology and Politics. Environment: Firstly, captive breeding or zoocría, is a practice that allows the preservation of species, and in many cases allows the repopulation of the same in places where they have already disappeared, becoming a pillar within the conservation of the species; in this sense, when using native spices, the permanence of the current natural conditions of the intervention area is guaranteed, without effects on other animal or plant species.

On the other hand, the effect produced by the extension of livestock production would be attenuated, since the area required for the implementation of these products is negligible in relation to the livestock area. Another way that supports the maintenance of the environment, considering that the production of humus generated by beetles will replace the stubble burning that communities currently use to improve soil conditions.  Diets: Considering that insects have the highest quality protein, and that exponentially exceeds the amount of protein to meat (beef, poultry and pigs), the diet of the communities can be balanced more adequately, and easily accessible, with minimal production costs. Economy: By generating new sources of alternative work, it supports the economic dynamics of each family within the communities, as well as its projection to improve their life plans, being able to transform themselves into productive focuses and national references.

Culture: Being an ancestral food, it improves the conservation of traditions, in this case gastronomic communities, as well as the direct relationship with their natural environment, supporting a new culture of preservation of the environment, which can be transmitted from generation to generation. Technology: While it is true that in the beginning this project will be generated in a familiar way, it opens the doors to industrialization processes of these foods in the future, being able to generate new dietary options, as well as new types of preparation of these insects. The final purpose of this project is that the technology developed in production be shared with other communities that have similar environmental conditions for the development of the project. Policy: The Ecuadorian Law, within its contents, contemplates the zoocría as an allowed activity, but in this context, it is necessary that before the emergence of these ideas of zoocría, the national environmental authority, will be able to support from the sectoral plans, in the definition of areas of development of these projects.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

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Photo of Constanza Castano

Hola Fundacion Progressio !

Han presentado una vision inspiradora y con gran potencial. Por favor, es importante presentarla en idioma Inglés. Como ya estamos cerca del término para modificar o actualizar (Enero 31), sería muy fácil utilizar el traductor de Google tan solo copiando y pegando cada párrafo hasta completar la traducción de la visión. Usen la búsqueda "Google translate" o "Google Traductor". No es necesaria una gramática perfecta en esta etapa. Y si ya han encontrado un buen traductor, es mucho mejor. También sería interesante poder ver un gráfico que ilustre cómo las relaciones e interconexiones entre los componentes de su sistema alimentario suceden.

Por favor no se detengan. Sigan adelante que van muy bien! Si tienen preguntas, su Guía Itika las podrá responder.

Un fuerte abrazo,


Hello @ ProgItika Gupta You have presented an inspiring vision with great potential. Please, it is important to present it in English. As we are close to our deadline, it would be very easy to use the Google translator just by copying and pasting each paragraph until the vision is complete. No perfect grammar is necessary at this stage. It would also be interesting to be able to see a visual or graphic that illustrates how the relationships and interconnections between the components of your food system happen.

Please do not stop. Keep up the good work! If you have questions your Guide Itika Gupta will be happy to answer them.

Warm regards,


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