Investors Are Piling Onto the Insect Farming Bandwagon

November 9, 2016 | Posted In: General

With the growing demand for animal feed and the overall increasing global demand for meat is driving people to look for another source of protein for livestock feed. A demand grows so does interest in the number of people and companies interested in the insect meal sector. $40 million of investor capital has already been invested in new companies involved in insect farming for animal feed. These are not just any investors, though. Big players like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are among the investors of this new insect meal sector. Another big company, the global bioscience company Intexron, purchased EnviroFlight, an insect meal producer. The Canadian insect meal company Enterra is already set to sell insect meal to the US for salmonids and in Canada for feed for poultry.

Insect meal is a much more cost effective way to feed animals than previously used soybeans and fishmeal. For one thing fishmeal has recently increased in price due to increased demand and restrictions on supply. However, progress in the insect meal sector is slow, as there are a number of regulatory hurdles to overcome in many Western countries. This has to do mainly with concerns over livestock being fed other processed animal proteins. This has influenced policy bodies such as the EU to increase research in the area. PROteINSECT is a three year long research project that will look extensively into using insects for animal feed as a sustainable source of protein.  This kind of research will help more regulatory reform to take place in this area, so more countries are willing to fund the change to using insects for animal feed. So, while the change may be taking over slowly, it seems that this is something experts are expecting to replace regular animal feed in the long run.

Do you think that eventually all animal feed will be made up of insects?