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insect farming

Creating and revitalizing local food culture

Photo of Innocent Temba
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Jamii light up ltd

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Progress will made towards developing long-term partnerships with local government institutions, local stakeholders and marginalized individuals such as youth and women in a community. Overall, there is tremendous potential to improve food security, increase agricultural sustainability and enhance progress for nations to achieve a zero-waste status through using insects.

Website of Legally Registered Entity


How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?


What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

poor diet

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

poor diet

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Population growth, urbanization and the rising middle class have increased the demand for food, especially animal based protein sources in 2020. The traditional production of animal feed such as fish meal, soy and grains needs to be further intensified in terms of resource efficiency and extended through the use of alternative sources.By 2050, over 9 billion people will need to be fed, along with the billions of animals raised annually for food and recreational purposes and as pets. Moreover, externalities such as land and water pollution from intensive livestock production and over-grazing are leading to forest degradation, thereby contributing to climate change and other environmentally destructive impacts. the global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050; food production must increase by 60 percent. What will be our sustainable source for meeting the global need for food? It is unlikely that increasing agricultural commodities can be the sole solution. Expanding crop production could worsen several existing dilemmas, such as natural resource depletion, urbanization expansion and lack of agricultural entrepreneurship. The situation has additional complexities in Sub-Saharan Africa. In much of the region, people’s diets contain inadequate nutrition and protein is limited, leading to malnutrition with widespread negative long-term societal and economic impacts. Food security for these developing nations means finding new ways to provide high-quality diets that are safe, sustainable, scalable, affordable and widely available.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Our vision aims to improve food security by increasing protein production through a novel feedstock—insects.Insects as feed or food is a comprehensive approach using sustainable and economically viable practices.One of the many ways to address food and feed security is through insect farming. Insects are everywhere and they reproduce quickly, and they have high growth and feed conversion rates and a low environmental footprint over their entire life cycle. They are nutritious, with high protein, fat and mineral contents. They can be reared on waste streams like food waste. Moreover, they can be eaten whole or ground into a powder or paste, and incorporated into other foods. The use of insects on a large scale as a feed ingredient is technically feasible, and established companies in various parts of the world are already leading the way in this regard. Insects as feed stock for aquaculture and poultry feed are likely to become more prevalent within the next decade. • Insects are important providers of ecosystem services. For example, insects play an important role in pollination, biological control and the decomposition of organic litter. • Insects are being tested to reduce livestock manure, such as that generated by pigs, and to mitigate foul odours. Larval flies can be used to transform manure into fertilizer and consumable protein. • Insects have inspired human innovation for many years. Biomimicry, which draws on the attributes of natural organisms and processes to spark innovation, has used the features of beehives, spider webs and termite hills to inspire the designs of a range of products and processes. • Insects have formed part of traditional medicine for thousands of years. For example, fly maggots have been used to clean dead tissue in wounds, and bee products such as propolis, royal jelly and honey have been used for their healing properties. • The natural colour of insects has been exploited by different cultures for centuries. For example, the Aztecs used the red colour produced by the cochineal (scale insect), and this insect is still used today as a natural food colouring in cosmetics and as a dye. • Silk, a product of silkworms, has been used for centuries as a soft yet strong and highly durable fabric. Insect can be considered as human food or as feed for pets, livestock and in aquaculture. Insect production seems to be more sustainable than livestock production for a number of reasons: lower greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions, less land area needed , more efficient feed conversion , and potential to be grown on organic by-products of which 1.3 billion tons is produced globally per annum . It seems that producing insects as mini-livestock requires less water than producing conventional livestock because the cold blooded insects have a high feed conversion efficiency. This enables them to derive most moisture from food.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Environmental benefits • Insects have a high feed conversion efficiency because they are cold-blooded. Feed-to-meat conversion rates (how much feed is needed to produce a 1 kg increase in weight) vary widely depending on the class of the animal and the production practices used, but nonetheless insects are extremely efficient. On average, insects can convert 2 kg of feed into 1 kg of insect mass, whereas cattle require 8 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of body weight gain. • The production of greenhouse gases by most insects is likely to be lower than that of conventional livestock. For example, pigs produce 10– 100 times more greenhouse gases per kg of weight than mealworms. • Insects can feed on bio-waste, such as food and human waste, compost and animal slurry, and can transform this into high-quality protein that can be used for animal feed. • Insects use significantly less water than conventional livestock. Mealworms, for example, are more drought-resistant than cattle. • Insect farming is less land-dependent than conventional livestock farming. Health benefits The nutritional content of insects depends on their stage of life (metamorphic stage), habitat and diet. However, it is widely accepted that: • Insects provide high-quality protein and nutrients comparable with meat and fish. Insects are particularly important as a food supplement for undernourished children because most insect species are high in fatty acids (comparable with fish). They are also rich in fibre and micronutrients such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium and zinc. • Insects pose a low risk of transmitting zoonotic diseases (diseases transmitted from animals to humans) such as like H1N1 (bird flu) and BSE (mad cow disease). Livelihood and social benefits • Insect harvesting and farming can provide entrepreneurship opportunities in developed, transitional and developing economies. • Insects can be processed for food and feed relatively easily.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

According to the International Feed Industry Federation, global compound animal feed production was 720 million tonnes in 2010. Insects can supplement traditional feed sources such as soy, maize, grains and fish meal. Insects with the largest immediate potential for large-scale feed production are larvae of the black soldier fly, the common housefly and the yellow mealworm – but other insect species are also being investigated for this purpose are already rearing large quantities of flies for aquaculture and poultry feed by bio converting organic waste.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Website

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Rethabile Konopo

Hi, insect farming  welcome to the Food System Vision Prize Community!

What would life in [your city] look like in 2050?
We've built a very comprehensive Food Vision Prize Toolkit with a lot of information, activities, and guidelines. The Toolkit will help you refine your Vision and make it systemic, human-centered and well informed for the future.
Here is the link to the Prize Toolkit:
I look forward to seeing your Vision evolve through the coming days.