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Shaphan Chia investigates how insects and insect production can contribute to sustainable food production systems in the context of circular agriculture by integrating insect production with crop production and host-plant resistance to insect herbivores.
During his PhD project (2016-2019), Shaphan assessed the potential of black soldier fly larvae in commercial production of a low-cost, high-quality protein source for non-ruminants including pigs; the role of women and youth farmer groups in the establishment of intensive insect-based agribusiness enterprises in Kenya, as well as research to assure high nutrition of the insect-based protein products. This interdisciplinary project funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) brought together among several partners: the international center of insect physiology and ecology (icipe), Nairobi, Kenya; Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands, and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO), Naivasha, Kenya. In the past few years, his research has contributed to the insects for food and feed - an emerging agricultural sector with great prospects for food security (Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 2020; PLoS ONE, 2020, 2018; ANIMALS, 2019; PEERJ, 2018), and environmental sustainability (Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2019).
Shaphan's research interests lie on how insect waste streams (frass) from insect production for food and feed impact soil, plant growth and insect-plant interaction, particularly how these plants defend themselves against insect herbivores. He enjoys conducting in-depth research that provides sustainable solutions to food production and environmental challenges.
A deep interest in uncovering novel scientific developments drives him while embracing new challenges and pushing frontiers.