International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) - core contribution

ICIPE is Africa’s leading insect research institute contributing to plant, animal, human and environmental health. SDC supports ICIPE as its work is highly relevant for the transformation to sustainable food systems, agroecology, healthy nutrition, and the promotion of the ‘One health’ approach. ICIPE’s development path is closely linked to Switzerland through longstanding partnerships with prominent Swiss experts and organisations. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural research
Plant protection & pest control
01.06.2021 - 31.12.2024
CHF  6’200’000
Background Africa faces enormous challenges in environment, food security, animal and human health. Growing chronic hunger, malnutrition, and diseases are threatening the development progress. Climate change affects heavily ecosystems and therefore insects. In 2020, huge outbreaks of locust swarms brought massive destructions of crops and pasture land, affecting millions of farmers and pastoralists. Insects account for 90% of the species affecting crops and carrying diseases, but they also bear a huge potential in food systems transformation. The recent Covid crisis showed i) how fragile food systems are ii) the increased importance of zoonotic diseases and iii) the interconnectivity between invasive species and plant, animal, human and environmental health. 
Objectives Help alleviate poverty, ensure food security and improve the overall health status of peoples of the tropics by developing and extending management tools and strategies for harmful and useful arthropods, while preserving the natural resource base through research and capacity building (ICIPE Vision and Strategy).
Target groups

Following targets are set for the next 4 years:

-  Direct beneficiaries: 640’000 African farmers (over 54% women) trained and applying ICIPE’s technologies;

-  Indirect beneficiaries: several hundred millions receive information through media (Radio, TV, newspaper);

-  Young African researchers will benefit from the capacity building program (1,000-2000, at least 50% women) and 50,000 jobs created for youth

-  Key public and civil society organisations (NGO’s, Universities, Governments, local authorities, developing agencies) will benefit from knowledge created through publication and media;

-  Private sector partners in selected countries (Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, etc.) test, develop, distribute and supply bio-pesticides, repellents, feed, food and bio-fertilisers from insects.

Medium-term outcomes

ICIPE (priority topics)

· Effect of invasive species affecting plant, animal, human health is controlled and reduced;

· Push and Pull techniques are developed on crops such as vegetables;

· Use of insects for feed and food is developed and promoted with the private sector;

· Effect of climate change on soil biology and biodiversity is further investigated;

· ‘One Health approach’ (plant, animal, human and environmental health) is further mainstreamed;

· Research on Malaria vector transmission confirms the first positive results and is further developed.


SDC objectives:

· ICIPE’s financial sustainability is improved by a reduced dependency of core contributions.

· ICIPE’s global outreach on topics such as insects for feed and food, climate change, healthy food, “One health approach”, Malaria vector research is increased and benefits especially women and youth.

- Synergy with SDC projects (GPFS and regional cooperation) is improved.


Expected results:   ICIPE’s Result Based Framework is publicly accessible and regularly updated. Here some selected key outputs for ICIPE: 1) Plant Health: improved control of fall armyworm; Push-Pull developed on vegetables; biopesticides against desert locusts identified; 2) Animal Health: integrated control of tsetse flies with repellents developed in collaboration with the private sector; 3. Human Health: ‘One health approach disseminated; effectiveness of microsporidia for Malaria vectors assessed; 4. Environmental Health: insects for feed and food developed and disseminated; links between climate change and biodiversity loss researched. 

Results from previous phases:  

Some of ICIPE’s main achievements:

·  Won the prestigious Food Planet Price[1] for its innovative research on insects for food and feed.

·  480’000 farmers (over 50% female) trained and practicing ICIPE’s developed technologies[2].

·  Developed the ‘One health approach’ (plant, animal, human and environmental health).

·  Discovered that Microsporidia infected mosquitoes do not transmit Malaria.

·  Over 1,000 African students completed their post graduate training at ICIPE.

·  Published yearly over 150 scientific articles in international journals.

-  Created 50,000 jobs for youth in silk and honey value chains.


[1] see:

[2] Applied techniques in order of importance: 1. Push and Pull; 2. Beekeeping; 3. Integrated Vector Management; 4. Integrated Pest Management; 5. Biopesticides; 6. Repellents; 7. Integrated pollinator Management

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
Other International Organization
Swiss Non-profit Organisation
  • Other OI
  • Other Swiss Non-profit Organisation

Coordination with other projects and actors

Numbers of synergies and collaboration with SDC projects[1] and with SDC like-minded partners, such as the GIZ/BMZ Knowledge Hub for Ecological and Organic Agriculture in Africa.

[1] Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative (7F-08482); One Health Units for Humans, Environment, Animals and Livelihoods (7F-09036); Long Term System Comparison (FIBL: 7F-05183); CABI Plantwise (7F-10534); City Regions Food Systems (RUNRES: 7F-09521); Nutrition in secondary cities (7F-10479); Innovative Vector Control Consortium.

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    6’200’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’520’000