The concept of insect farming and eating insects cannot be termed merely as an idea. It is actually turning out to be more of necessity as the time progresses. Well according to a 200 page long report published by Food and Agriculture Organization of The UN, titled edible insects, which made world headlines, concluded that insects are the food of the future. It said that by 2050, the world population is expected to rise to 9 billion. That is 2 more billion people than what we have today and to feed all these new arrivals, we will be required to produce nearly twice as much food as we do today. At current rate and methods of production, there wont be enough protein for everyone. Its not just the population is that’s increasing , the per capita demand for meat is also increasing as the level of income increases of the people. The question therefore is of the future security of food and feed. In fact currently, there are roughly 1 billion chronically hungry people. Expanding current form of livestock production of cow, pigs and chickens which by the way are very demanding on our resources, will require more land , more water and more feed.
This is where entomophagy comes into the picture. The practice of eating insects is known as entomophagy. Insects as food and feed emerge as an especially relevant issue in the twenty first century due to the rising cost of animal protein, food and feed insecurity, environmental pressures, population growth and increasing demand for protein among the middle classes. The consumption of insects, or entomophagy, therefore contributes positively to the environment and to health and livelihoods.
Besides, electricity generation 32 %, transport and industries the major cause of GHG emission is livestock farming. Higher than transport sector. Produce more methanethan c02. Methane more harmful to nature. Insect release much less ghg and their overall GHG emissions are a 100 times lesser than that of animals.
Still, 70 % of our fresh water resources are used in agriculture alone. This is because insects become fully hydrated just from the food that they eat.
It is estimated that, by 2025, 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity, and two-thirds of the world population will likely be under stress (FAO, 2012b).
The average efficiency of livestock converting plant feed to meat is less than 3 percent, and as we eat more meat, more arable cultivation is turned over to producing feedstock for animals that provide meat for humans
by 2050 cropland will have expanded by 42 percent and fertilizer use will have increased by 45 percent over 2009 levels. In addition, a further tenth of the world's tropical forests would disappear over the next 35 years.
1.53b hectares of cropland, and 3.38b hectares of pastures covering our earth. 38 % of land used for agriculture and farming. Insect rearing is not necessarily a land-based activity and does not require landclearing to expand production. Feed is the major requirement for land.
The Circle Chirp Cricket Reactor
The Circle Chirp Cricket Reactor
The Circle Chirp Cricket Reactor
Prospects of Insect Farming
For a sustainable food future
photo courtesy: aspirefg.com
Insect Farming, Idea Studio Nepal, 1 by Nabin Karki Thapa
It’s not an idea, it’s a necessity.
• Question of future Food and feed security.
• Currently roughly 1 billion chronically hungry people.
• By 2050, 9 billion people with high demand for protein.
• How sustainable are current solutions ?
• Resources are limited. Efficiency and sustainability becomes important.
Insect Farming, Idea Studio Nepal, 2 by Nabin Karki Thapa
• Practice of eating insects.
• 2 billion people already eat insects as a part of their diet.
• 1900 species out of more than 5 millions are already reported to be used as
Insect Farming, Idea Studio Nepal, 3 by Nabin Karki Thapa
Why eat insects ?
Insect Farming, Idea Studio Nepal, 4 by Nabin Karki Thapa
Nutritional & Health Benefits
• Insects are healthy, nutritious alternatives to mainstream staples such as
chicken, pork and beef.
• They have comparable protein content to animal food and at the same time are
high on micronutrients such as vitamins, zinc, iron, calcium, fiber, etc. and low
• Taxonomically distant from humans, so less likely to transmit food-borne
Insect Farming, Idea Studio Nepal, 5 by Nabin Karki Thapa
• Industrial Livestock Farming accounts to 15 % in Global GHG emission.
Insects release a 100 times less quantity of GHG than animals like beef.
• Feed Security
Significantly higher Feed to meat conversion ratio. For e.g. Conversion factor of
crickets is 2 times more than of chicken, four times more than of pigs, and 12
times more than of cattle.
Plus they are more edible. For e.g. 80 % of a cricket is edible while only 55 % of
chicken and pork and 40 % of beef is edible.
• Estimated that By 2025, 1.8b people will be living in areas with absolute
Insects require a lot less water as compared to other animals. E.g. - the
production of 1 kg of chicken requires 2300 liters of virtual water, 1 kg of pork
requires 3 500 liters and 1 kg of beef requires 22000 liters, where it takes only
about 1 liter of water for 1 kg of crickets.
Insect Farming, Idea Studio Nepal, 6 by Nabin Karki Thapa
• Land usage
• Insect rearing is not necessarily a land-based activity and does not require land clearing to expand
production. Also, while It takes 200 m2 to grow 1 pound of beef, it only takes 15 m2 to grow 1
pound of crickets.
• Waste management
• Insects can be fed on organic waste streams.
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• Insect harvesting/rearing is a low-tech, low-capital investment option that offers
entry even to the poorest sections of society, such as women and the landless.
• Insects have a very short seed to harvest timespan and high reproductive rate.
Helpful in generating regular cash flow.
• Women inclusion, employment generation, deficit reduction, etc.
Insect Farming, Idea Studio Nepal, 8 by Nabin Karki Thapa
• Further documentation is needed on the nutritional values of insects in order to
more efficiently promote insects as healthy food.
• Investigate the sustainability and quantify the environmental impacts of
harvesting and farming insects compared with traditional farming and livestock-raising
• Develop a clear and comprehensive legal framework at the (inter-)national level
that can pave the way for more investment, leading towards the full
development (from the household scale to the industrial scale) of production
and trade in insect products for food and feed internationally.
• Erasing the Cultural disgust factor
Insect Farming, Idea Studio Nepal, 9 by Nabin Karki Thapa
Insects & Entrepreneurs around the world
• Tiny-farms : ‘Open Bug Farm Kit’ for growing edible insects along with online farm tracking system,
tutorials and community support.
• Third Millennium Farming: ‘The Circle Chirp Cricket Reactor’ for farming, feeding, herding and
reproducing hygienic crickets.
• Next Millennium Farming: Industrial-sized edible insect farms. Ship 8000 lbs. worth of crickets a month
- roasted and ground down into a fine flour or powder.
• Exo: Protein bars made of cricket flour. The same flour supplied by NMF.
• Chapul: Energy bars made from cricket flours., Participated in Shark Tank , a reality business themed
competition for entrepreneurs. Managed to strike a deal with billionaire Mark Cuban.
• Six Foods: ‘Chirps’ , Packaged chips made out of cricket flour.
• Aspire FG : winner of the 2013 Hult Prize , for the idea of Insect Farming for sustainable food future.
Provide necessary solutions for insect farming.
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Opportunities in Nepal
• Opportunity to become a leading producer and exporter of whole insects or
processed insect products, whatever the demand is.
• Potential market for insects as feed for poultry, aquaculture and other livestock
• Agrarian business encouraged by the government itself.
• No legislative barriers regarding insect farming till date.
• Employment and export opportunities.
Insect Farming, Idea Studio Nepal, 11 by Nabin Karki Thapa
Thank you !!
Insect Farming, Idea Studio Nepal, 12 by Nabin Karki Thapa