Insect farming is an admittedly old, but attractive business opportunity given the current issues of food insecurity and unsustainability. And we know how to make it even better.
What is insect farming?
Insect farming is the processes involved in the production of commodities from insects, which includes the rearing and breeding of insects, much like livestock because of which it is also called as “mini livestock” or “micro livestock”.This has proven to be an eco-friendly and sustainable practice with various long term benefits!
Benefits of insect farming
In the ongoing pandemic, topics of Climate change, food security and sustainability are becoming issues of increasing concern and insect farming promises a solution to some of it.
Compared to livestock, insect rearing has several advantages. Firstly they require less land, with a larger number of insects being able to fit in the space compared to traditional livestock. Secondly, they require less water and feed compared to traditional livestock since some insect varieties take the water they require directly from the feed. Some even consume agricultural and food waste or culinary by-products, creating an environmentally effective cycle of income.
Insect farming is also considered to be more environmentally friendly than livestock which is considered to be the second-largest producer of greenhouse gases and one of the leading causes of anthropogenic-induced climate change. Insects are even advocated as a major sustainable food source for the future by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
Food security & nutritionally efficiency
With a growing world population, increasingly demanding consumers, and a limited amount of agricultural land, there is an urgent need to find alternatives to traditional meat products and alternative protein sources and Insects have risen as a viable alternative! Insects Also have a better nutrition profile than conventional livestock. They contain proteins, lipids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, carbohydrates and vitamins, with significant levels of micronutrients such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc and so on.
What are the challenges?
Insect farming is usually labour intensive.
The main challenge involves the intensive insect rearing itself. A fair balance between mechanization, automation, and manual labour must be found but most of the insect farming methods utilized now are labour-intensive. Only a few stages are automated, which makes huge staff necessary when scaling up.
Insect farming requires constant monitoring.
Insect farming requires close monitoring of temperature and other critical parameters for efficient control and maintenance which requires increased manpower and work times.
This is where Thingstel comes in!
Thingstel helps overcome certain challenges, reducing manual labour, thus the risk of human error with smooth, and cost-efficient automation tools like its wide range of sensors, such as temperature sensor, Humidity sensor, light sensor and pressure sensor are valuable for the process through which valuable input can be obtained. Thingstel also provides predictive maintenance and real-time monitoring for effective and efficient Insect faring.
We are pros when it comes to assisting Black soldier fly farming. Black soldier flies could potentially redefine the future of many industries being among the fastest detritus feeders: they obtain their food by consuming decomposing plant and animal parts and are valued for their ability to break down decaying or dead materials extremely fast.
They thus help recycle nutrients and even aid the Earth’s biogeochemical and energy flow cycles.
Global food and feed are growing rapidly while agriculture land is decreasing and livestock expansions are showing adverse long-term implications for the environment. Hence in the current scenario, insect farming appears as an increasingly attractive response to the need of sustainable food and feed production as Insects represent an abundant food source that can be reared using organic side-streams, thus enhancing circularity and sustainability, while alleviating food insecurity.