At present mopane worm s are not farmed, people in the rural areas go into the forest and pick these worms wherever they occur naturally.  However this has now changed as we have come up with a way to commercially farm mopane worms.The informal mopane worm industry is a multi-million dollar industry and we want to be part of this industry. At mopane worm we are dedicated to preserve the mopane woodland. We have planted hundreds of mopane trees.  We are working with the local population to protect mopane tree and mopane worms.

How to farm mopane worms

To farm mopane worms you need to intervene in the life cycle of the emperor moth butterfly.  The moth lays eggs on mopane tree leaves or branches around October to November.  The eggs hatch after about 14 days and the larvae will feed on mopane tree leaves for about 28 days before coming down from the tree to pupate. You will need to intervene at all stages to protect the, butterfly, eggs, caterpillar and pupa.

How much can I earn farming mopane worms

A lot of people would want to know how much can you earn from farming mopane worms. The answer to this depends on supply and demand of mopane worms. In OK Zimbabwe 1Kg mopane worms can cost around $15.00.  That means 1000 Kgs of mopane worms can fetch you $15000.00 US Dollars were as tobacco can can fetch you $4.50 per Kg to give you $4500.00 US Dollars.  We can see mopane worms can out perform tobacco by nearly  4 time.  So the best way forward is to open your own mopane worms retail shop and maximise on profit.  

Estimated information about mopane worms

  • 1 instar 5 mopane worm caterpillar weighs 12g
  • 1 instar 5 Mopane worm pupae weighs 7g
  • 1 instar 5 dried mopane caterpillar weighs 3g
  • 334 instar 5 dried mopane worm caterpillar equals 1kg.
  • 2227 female mopane worms pupa equals 1000kgs
  • 1 female butterfly can lay 150 eggs average.
  • 334050 caterpillars equals 1000kgs.
  • 1kg of mopane worms caterpillar needs 3kgs of leaves.
  • A good stocking density per tree is 334 caterpillars per big tree.