The insect farming industry is set to grow at a rate of 27.8% annually, providing cheap, sustainable animal feed – and even protein for human consumption.
The insect protein industry could be worth USD 7.96 billion by 2030, according to a Meticulous Research report. Already, insect farming is seen as a promising and valuable source of sustainable protein for animal feed, and creates useful by-products that can be used as fertiliser and material for medical purposes.
While the concept of insect agriculture may seem foreign to the average person, the industry is predicted to grow rapidly at a CAGR of 27.8%. In response, agricultural technology (agritech) startups have seized upon the concept, refining the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of insect farming – or “minilivestock” farming.
The nascent industry’s rapid growth has also attracted significant investor interest in the past three years – McDonald’s, LA venture capitalist firm Upfront Ventures, and even Robert Downey Jr.’s Footprint Coalition have stakes in the market, having provided capital to drive further growth in the industry.
Wissam Adli, the Managing Partner at Hong Kong based, VC firm Honey Capital, commented, “There is a massive opportunity to disrupt the USD 400 billion global animal feed and pet food markets as conventional protein sources like soy and fishmeal put pressure on our natural resources and have reached the boundaries of sustainable production.”
Insect farming is the practice of raising and breeding insects as livestock, also referred to as minilivestock or micro stock. Insects may be farmed for the commodities they produce (like silk, honey, lac or insect tea), or for them themselves; to be used as food, as feed, as a dye, and otherwise.