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Grasshoppers as food to promote peace in the Middle East

Grasshoppers are considered a delicacy across the Middle East and an Israel-Palestine-Jordan-Saudi Arabia partnership feed the world!

Photo of Dror Tamir

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To feed the expanding world population, more high protein food from sustainable sources and at affordable costs is needed. Yet current protein sources – beef, chicken, fish – are reaching their limits, putting pressure on natural resources, and damaging the environment.

Edible insects are gaining momentum as a high protein alternative that is efficient to produce, low cost, and requires minimal resources. With insects already an integral part of the diet of more than 2.5 billion people, and growing awareness of insects’ advantages in new food markets, there is a need — and an opportunity — for quality insect products that can be mass produced efficiently and economically.

Hargol FoodTech is world's first commercial grasshopper farmer. The company is using technology to grow large quantities of grasshoppers in captivity. Company's optimized methods and technology enable growing several species of grasshoppers quickly and under sanitary conditions for a reliable, sustainable, and quality protein source. Hargol's line of products will include grasshopper protein powder, food additives and pet food.

The Hargol FoodTech difference includes:

Year-round production – as opposed to limited seasons in the wild – for an ongoing, large supply to meet growing demand

Superior nutrient content – Up to 70% protein, all essential amino acids, lipids, Iron, zinc, chitin

Innovative cage structure for vertical farming enables growing X10 more biomass per m², improved sanitarian conditions

Optimized feeding – reduces growing costs, improves nutrient content

Zero waste – all materials converted into products

Efficient growth & production methods – saves resources, creates high margins

Neutral in taste and flavor & minimal processing – high quality ingredient

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Grasshoppers are the most widely eaten insect in the world and are being considered a delicacy. Grasshoppers are also the only Kosher and Halal insect in the world. Today grasshoppers are only harvested in the wild and supply suffer from limited seasonal availability. Hargol's technology can provide year-round grasshoppers efficiently as a source of healthier protein and much more sustainable. Hargol FoodTech is developing a coalition of Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian and Saudi Arabia businesses to establish grasshopper farms in the Middle East, provide local demand with a high quality protein and at the next phase feed the rest of the world. This will combine all parties in a joint venture promoting better nutrition and health with the seeds of regional peace! Read more about the advantages of grasshoppers on Hargol's website:

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our beneficiaries will be: - Palestinian and Jordanian young adults that we enjoy employment at better terms at an area that suffer from unemployment. - Population in Saudi Arabia and othe countries across the Middle East will enjoy a healthier and more sustainable protein source they consider a delicacy. - Populations in Africa and Asia, mainly children ages 1-3, that suffer today from lack of protein will enjoy a more efficient and healthier protein and will better develop physically and mentally.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Grasshoppers are the most widely eaten insect in the world. 2.5 Billion people consume them. But today all supply comes from collection in the wild. Hargol FoodTech is the first in the world to farm grasshoppers on commercial scale. Hargol's technology and methods provide healthier, better quality and efficient, year-round supply of grasshoppers!

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

World's First Commercial Grasshopper Farm!

Expertise in sector

  • 3-5 years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered company.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

As a serial entrepreneur I worked on obesity prevention called Plate my Meal. While working with the India government I learned not only about obesity (India is #3 in the world) it also suffers from malnutrition (#1 in the world). I learned about the impact of lack of protein on children's development and started to look for healthier and more sustainable alternatives. I learned that not only grasshoppers are the most efficient protein source in nature, they are also the most widely eaten.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

Peace has always been an unmet goal for Israel in the Middle East. I believe that collaboration and mutual interests can promote peace. While countries around Israel suffer from unemployment and malnutrition - The grasshopper farms technology developed by Hargol can provide jobs and efficient protein source. And as this project grows in capacity it can feed the hungry world bringing a word of optimism from a region that lack it!

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We already have the Israeli government supporting our efforts. with the Israeli government we are discussing the collaboration with the Saudi Arabia government and also USA based organizations that connect us with the Palestinians. We already located a place for the farm on a Jordanian/Israeli industry zone over the borders of the two countries.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

From Israel - high innovation in agtech and foodtech From Palestine - experienced working hands Fro Saudi Arabia - High demand for the product

Geographic Focus

First - Middle East. Long term - Africa and Asia.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

Building the collaboration - 6 months Establishing of the farm - 6 months reaching full production - 12 months

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • Yes

If Yes, how has project idea changed, grown, or evolved since last year? (2,000 characters)

since 2017 we completed establishment of a full scale commercial grasshopper farm. We initiated sales in the USA market in January 2018. We initiated contact with the Saudi Arabia government.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Gayanjith Premalal

Hi Dror Tamir , This is a very unique idea! I read through the submission and also through the comments and they are very much explanatory. But I want to learn more about the bridges that you create. Can you elaborate on that a bit more if it is not troublesome?

Photo of Dror Tamir

Thank you Gayanjith Premalal !
Grasshoppers are considerd Halal for Muslims and are high in demand in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Yemen and more.
Today local population collect the in the wild when a swarm of locusts fly in every few years. Availability is limited, not constant and quality is questionable.

Hargol's technology makes grasshoppers available year-round at very high quality.
Since today the trade between Israel and the mentioned countries is very limited due to hostile relations, we are building an economic bridge: We are building a partnership with Jordanians and Palestinians to establish a grasshopper farm in special industrial zone between Israel and Jordan. From there the Jordanian partner will ship and distribute the grasshoppers in target markets.

I hope this answers your question.

Photo of Gayanjith Premalal

Thanks Dror Tamir . Yes it does :) Keep up the good work!

Photo of Dror Tamir

You're welcome Gayanjith Premalal and thank you!

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