How Insects Could Aid in Feeding 10 Billion People by 2050

Published on: 31 October 2022
by KnowESG
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Singapore is an ideal starting point for insect players to develop insect-based diets.

Singapore has joined with the Netherlands to help build each other's insect industries, as insects are expected to play a major role in the global food sector.

Through the Insect Industry Innovation Scan, a report made by Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG) and Foodvalley Netherlands (Foodvalley NL), investors can learn about how the insect industry is changing in Lion City and Europe.

According to EnterpiseSG, there is a need for alternative, sustainable protein sources to feed 10 billion people by 2050, and insects might provide 15% of that additional protein.

Eugene Toh, director for Agritech, EnterpriseSG, said: 

"As a regional hub for R&D with a pro-business environment, Singapore is a suitable launchpad for local and European insect players to collaborate and create insect-based diets of the future. Farmed insects can be used for animal feed, organic fertilisers, or food for human consumption.

"Lucrative biomaterials such as chitosan or melanin can also be extracted from insect shells for use in high-value industries like pharmaceuticals and electronics. There are significant growth opportunities for the insect industry as part of the broader agritech industry's development in Singapore."

In the last four years, the local insect sector has acquired substantial traction among investors, with around US$40 million invested in insect businesses.

There are 15 insect companies based in Singapore that do business in more than ten countries. These companies include startups like Insectta, Nutrition Technologies, and Protenga.

These companies focus on making animal feed from insect protein and snacks made from edible insects. A few of them are also making their way to get high-value biomaterials from insects.

“Global and local insect players can leverage Singapore’s strategic location and strong R&D capabilities to access opportunities in Asia. The Singapore agrifood tech startup ecosystem has seen vibrant growth, with the number of agri-food tech startups more than doubling in the last three years to 150 in 2021,” EnterpriseSG said.

Source: Singapore Business Review

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