In my story, a race of gods arrive in our solar system from the far flung colonies of a Type III civilization. When they arrive at Earth and see the rise of hominids, they split into groups and take bets on which ape will become the dominant species on earth.
As evolutionary history occurs and money changes hands, one small, ill intentioned faction opts to cheat in hopes of great reward. So, they descend to Earth and find a small, unsuccessful species of Homo, and tweak its "build" specifically to serve as a counter to Homo sapien - an up and coming hominid still kicking around at the spawn point Africa, and Homo neanderthalensis - a well established West-Eurasian Hominid that has much support and is gaining ground, much to the grief of Heidelbergensis and H. erectus backers.
They take odd mutations from H. sapiens and H. Heidelbergensis that would, on their own, be game breaking were it not for real world impracticalities, and combine them into one being. The result was one dream hominid endowed with all the gifts man often dreamed of. They hide their creation on the remote New Zealand island, lest it come into contact with other Hominids immediately and the wayward faction's cheating be found out.
To kickstart the rise of civilization, the faction gives their designer man the gift of the knowledge of the cultivation of bugs to make up for the lack of large river valleys, cereal grain, and domesticable animals on the island, which other hominids would have access to.
Question : Could a civilization arise around the cultivation of bugs in the same way that they historically have around the cultivation of grain?
Note: I'm asking more if the pull to permanent settlement would or could be as strong with the cultivation of land arthropods, mollusks, etc. as it is with traditional plant cultivation.